Baltimore Orioles 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 6
The Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon
On Saturday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates traveled to Sarasota, Florida, to play the Baltimore Orioles. In a back and forth affair, the Pirates lost via a walk-off home run. With the loss the Pirates fell to 11-4 in Grapefruit League play this spring.
Clay Holmes made the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Holmes struggled with his control, and lasted just 1 2/3 innings as a result.
In 1 2/3 innings pitched Holmes allowed two runs on four hits, two walks, and he struck out a pair. Clay Holmes threw a first pitch strike to just three of the seven batters he faced, and his ball-to-strike ratio of 13:19 was not what you would like to see.
Control issues for Clay Holmes did not pertain to just his walks. He threw a fastball up in the zone on a 1-2 pitch to Hyun Soo Kim that Kim hit into left field for a RBI single in the first inning. He also threw a slider middle-middle to Mark Trumbo later in the inning that he is lucky Tumbo only got a single off of.
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Josh Lindblom would relieve Holmes in the bottom of the second inning. Lindblom would go on to pitch 1 1/3 innings, retiring all four batters he faced.
Holmes is slated to begin the season at Triple-A Indianapolis. Odds are, he will be in the Indians’ rotation. However, in the long run he might be best suited to be a relief pitcher.
Following Josh Lindblom, Nick Kingham would take over on the mound. Kingham pitched two scoreless innings, however, he struggled with his control throughout his outings. In his two innings pitched Kingham allowed just one hit, but he also walked three batters.
Nick Kingham threw a first pitch strike to just five of the ten batters he faced. Additionally, Kingham threw more balls (21) than strikes (18) on Saturday. A big reason Kingham worked around the base runners is because four of the six outs he recorded came via ground balls. Yet another example of all outs not being created equal.
Kingham did flash why he is one of the team’s top pitching prospects, though. He threw a very good change up on Saturday, as well as a strong breaking pitch.
Jared Hughes would then pitch the sixth inning. Once again, Hughes got shelled. In the sixth inning he allowed three runs on three hits, he allowed a mammoth home run, and he struck out a batter. The least encouraging part is that Hughes faced a slew of Minor League hitters in his inning of work.
Hughes would then come back out for the seventh inning. He recorded a pair of ground ball outs, Alen Hanson committed an error behind him, and he got a hitter to line out to first base.
Antonio Bastardo pitched the eighth inning for the Pirates. Bastardo pitched a scoreless eighth inning, which included a walk and a pair of strikeouts.
For the Bucs, the ninth inning belonged to Minor League pitcher Miguel Rosario. Rosario retired the first batter he faced, but then allowed an infield hit and a walk-off home run.
Adam Frazier started at second base while batting lead off on Saturday, and he put together three strong at bats. In his first at bat he saw 8 pitches. despite falling behind in the count 0-2, and eventually grounded out to first base. Frazier fell behind 1-2 in his second at bat, but was able to work the count full and ripped a two-run single to right field on the 10th pitch of the bat. Adam Frazier then grounded out to second base with a runner on third and no one out in his third at bat.
Frazier finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
Alen Hanson started at shortstop and had an up-and-down day in the field. In the bottom of the second inning Hanson made a fantastic play. He ranged far to his left, slid onto the cusp of the outfield grass, fielded the ball, and flipped it behind his back to Frazier to record an out.
However, he committed an error on a routine ground ball in the seventh inning. Additionally, in the fourth inning Mark Trumbo hit a ball off of Hanson’s glove that was ruled a single but it was a play Hanson should have made.
Alen Hanson was then tested twice more in the ninth inning. The first two batters of the inning for the Orioles hit ground balls to shortstop. The first one was a very routine ground ball that Hanson bobbled, but he recovered to throw the runner out at first. Then Craig Gentry, who has good speed, hit a ball that Hanson backhanded deep in the hole at shortstop. Hanson got off a strong throw, but it was not enough to retire the speedy Gentry.
Hanson went 1-for-5 at the plate. This included a RBI ground out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, a pair of strikeouts, and a go ahead two-out RBI double in the top of the ninth inning.
Josh Bell served as the designated hitter and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Kevin Newman pinch hit for Bell in the eighth inning and collected a single. Philip Gosselin made the start at first base and finished 2-for-3, however, he also got thrown out attempting to steal a base.
Gift Ngoepe started at third base for the Pittsburgh Pirates and had a big game at the plate. The Triple-A utility man finished the day 3-for-3 at the plate. Ngoepe’s three hits included a triple, and he also drew a walk. The walk Ngoepe drew started the Pirate rally in the top of the ninth inning.
Top prospect Austin Meadows started in center field for the Pirates on Saturday. Meadows finished the game 1-for-2 with a double.
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On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates will host the Minnesota Twins at LECOM Park at 1:05. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports in Pittsburgh. Trevor Williams will start for the Pirates, while the Twins will send ex-Pirate Ryan Vogelsong to the mound.
Steven Brault, Felipe Rivero, Tyler Webb, and Casey Sadler are all scheduled to pitch for the Pirates as well.