Gerrit Cole, Pirates, Dispatch Orioles In Grapefruit League Play

Feb 19, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA;Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pose for a photo for photo day at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA;Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pose for a photo for photo day at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 6-2 in Grapefruit League play.

The Pittsburgh Pirates strong start to Grapefruit League play continued on Friday. Powered by Gerrit Cole‘s first start of the spring, the Pirates picked up a 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. With the victory, the Bucs are now 6-2 in Grapefruit League play.

John Jaso made his first start in right field this spring in the victory. Additionally, Phil Gosselin made his spring debut at shortstop. Jaso is a lock to make the team looking to add to his versatility, while Gosselin is battling to make the squad and trying to flash positional flexibility to help his cause.

Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and David Freese were all Pirate regulars that were all also in the lineup. Furthermore, top shortstop prospect Kevin Newman started at designated hitter.

Gerrit Cole pitched two innings in his spring debut. The Pirates’ Opening Day started kept the Orioles off the board allowing just two hits, one of which was an infield single, and a walk. He was also able to get Manny Machado to hit into a 5-4-3 double play in the first inning after the first two Baltimore hitters reached base.

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Tyler Glasnow followed Cole. This was Glasnow’s second outing of the spring. His first outing he was dominant against the Orioles allowing just one hit and striking out six of the seven batters he faced in two innings pitched.

Friday, however, was a different story. Glasnow lasted just 1 2/3 innings allowing one run on three hits, two walks, and he struck out two batters. Control problems once again reared their ugly head for Glasnow. In addition to his two walks, he fell behind eight of the ten batters he faced on Friday. He also threw a dreadful 0-2 fastball that got smoked for a base hit in the fourth inning.

If Tyler Glasnow is going to make the rotation out of Spring Training he has to have much better control than he did today. Without that happening he will start the year in the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis. Ultimately, Triple-A remains his most likely destination for the start of the season.

Minor League pitcher Miguel Rosario would record the final out of the fourth inning. He also pitched the fifth inning, and allowed a run.

Drew Hutchison, who is competing with Glasnow and Steven Brault for the fifth starter’s job, took over for the Pirates in the top of the sixth inning. Hutchison would put together his best outing of the spring.

In three innings pitched Drew Hutchison kept the Orioles off the scoreboard. He allowed just one hit, one walk, and four strikeouts. He also got ahead in the count against eight of the 11 batters he faced. However, this came against Minor League hitters.

If Phil Gosselin has to hit his way onto the team this spring, he is doing that through one week of play. The utility player went 3-for-3 with a RBI on Friday afternoon. He is now 6-for-14 this spring with a trio of doubles.

Alen Hanson, who Gosselin is competing with for the final bench spot, replaced Gosselin at shortstop in the top of the sixth inning. Hanson had a pair of put outs at shortstop, and finished the day 1-for-1 with a bunt single at the plate.

Starling Marte had another strong day for the Pirates. He went 2-for-3 with a double and was hit by pitch. His transition to center field, unsurprisingly, is continuing to go well. New left fielder Gregory Polanco was 1-for-3 with a walk.

John Jaso finished the day 0-for-3, Kevin Newman was 1-for-3 with a RBI, and Austin Meadows drew a walk as a pinch hitter. Meadows also recorded his first stolen base of the spring.

Meanwhile, David Freese finished the day 1-for-2 with a RBI. He also started an around-the-horn double play.

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Next up for the Pirates is a match up with their Opening Day opponent the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 PM tomorrow. Chad Kuhl will make the start for the Pirates. Tony Watson, Daniel Hudson, Wade LeBlanc, and Jared Hughes are all slated to pitch as well.