Like most teams, The Pittsburgh Pirates looked rusty in their first two spring training games. It takes some time for players to find their rhythm and get acquainted with live action. It looks like the Pirates shook off the rust last night with their 10-3 onslaught of the Baltimore Orioles.
In the first two games of the spring, the Pirates got off to a slow start, allowing their opponents to jump out to an early lead in the first two innings. They made sure that wouldn’t happen last night by jumping on Orioles starter Brian Matusz early and often.
One of the bright spots for the Pirates last season was the emergence of outfielder Alex Presley. Presley made his mark as the Buccos leadoff hitter last year by getting on base. We got a glimpse of the excitement he can provide last night. Presley led off the night with a single and scored on the very next batter when utility infielder Josh Harrison ripped an RBI double. Already with a 1-0 lead, designated hitter Matt Hague found the whole with an RBI single.
Hague played last year in AAA with the Indianapolis Indians. Hague has a legitimate opportunity to compete for the starting first basemen’s job with Garrett Jones this year. If he continues to have games like he did last night, Manager Clint Hurdle will welcome him with open arms into the starting lineup.
Presley proved his importance once again in the second inning with a two-out RBI single, something the Pirates as a whole did not have much success in last year. Hague continued to make his mark in the lineup by belting a two-run home run in the third to increase the lead, 5-1. The home run was the first of the spring for Hague and the second for the Pirates.
The Presley and Hague show continued in the fourth inning with Presley showcasing his speed with an RBI triple, scoring highly touted prospect, Starling Marte. Hague also reached on a fielder’s choice giving him his third RBI of the game.
Presley finished the game going a perfect 3-3 with two RBIs and two runs. Also going a perfect 3-3 was Marte, also adding two runs. Hague had a powerful performance going 3-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
Non-roster invitee Jo-Jo Reyes got the start for the Pirates going 1.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two.
Andrew McCutchen did not travel with the team on the eve of receiving his luxurious contract.
The Pirates will face yet again another southpaw today when they host the New York Yankees and CC Sabathia. This will be their fourth lefty they are facing in as many games. Last year’s opening day starter Kevin Correia will make his spring training debut for the Pirates. First pitched is slated to be at 1:05 p.m.
Photo published by daylife.com
About the Author
Written by Drew Karpen
I am a graduate from Clarion University. I am currently the beat reporter for WVU football at ovathletics.com. I work part time as a stringer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and as a producer at WJPA radio station. I also have my weekly column on ovathletics.com. I am from Pittsburgh and my favorite team is the Pirates.