Corey Hart hits first home run as a Pirate in loss to Orioles


4. 4. 6. 11. Final

Corey Hart his first home run as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but it wasn’t enough as the Pirates took the Grapefruit League loss to the Baltimore Orioles by the score of 6-4.

Hart, seeing his first extended action of the spring, served as the team’s designated hitter and went 2-for-4.  His day was a mixed bag, however, as he also struckout twice and left three on base.

Radhames Liz made the “start” for the Pirates, going for two innings.  After getting out of a shaky first inning, limiting the damage to one-run off of an Adam Jones single, Liz worked a clean second inning before giving way to the rest of the scheduled pitchers.  Jones would later get his revenge on the Pirates with a home run off of Arquimedes Caminero.  Old friend Travis Snider scored a run off of Nick Kingham aided by a fielding error by Steve Lombardozzi.  Jared Hughes worked a clean inning, giving way to Stolmy Pimentel, who continued his spring struggle by giving up the eventual winning run and more, off of a home run by Henry Urrutia and a double by Ryan Lavarnway that scored former Pirate Jayson Nix.

What Stood Out:

It was very encouraging for Pirate fans to see the power from Corey Hart.  Hart is expected to be part of a semi-platoon at first base along with slugger Pedro Alvarez.  Liz’ start was his first in the majors of any kind since 2009, when he was with the Orioles.  Perhaps most surprising on the day was Caminero’s struggles.  Going into the contest Caminero had pitched very well for the Buccos, leading the team in spring strikeouts and not allowing a run in any of his previous outings.

More from Rum Bunter

The dominant springs displayed by Liz and Caminero were previously thought to close the door on John Holdzkom opening the season with the big-league club, and also raised eyebrows on Jared Hughes’ spot in the pen.  Caminero’s struggles today, as they came specifically via the long-ball, may have cracked the door open for Holdzkom to sneak his way into the shark tank.  Hughes still projects to be there when the games count.

Offensively, aside from Hart’s home run, there was a lot of small-ball being played as the only extra-base hits on the day were a double by Steve Lombardozzi and a trip-trip-triple by Gorkys Hernandez.  Neither are projected to join the club out of spring training.

Quietly having a great day at the plate was Jordy Mercer, who went 3-for-3 with a run scored.

What’s Next:

For their first split squad action of the spring, the Pittsburgh Pirates will host the Phllies on the back of a Vance Worley start, while Gerrit Cole leads the way for the Bucs against he twins.  A strong performance by Worley should close the door on Jeff Locke‘s starting rotation hopes, while the true storyline of the Twins game could be Jung-Ho Kang’s debut at second base.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates' 2015 starting rotation: four things to know