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Pirates Struggle to Find Offense in Loss To Phillies

Posted By Drew Karpen On Mar 13 2012 @ 11:03 am In Pittsburgh Pirates | No Comments

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Just last week the Pittsburgh Pirates offense looked like they were in mid-season form. That was not the case in yesterday’s 4-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Pirates were able to squeak out two hits in nine innings, including going 12 up and 12 down against Phillies starter, Vance Worley.

The lone bright spot during the game for the Pirates was starter, Charlie Morton, making his first appearance of the spring. Morton was just coming off of hip injury and was eager to return to the mound. Morton passed his first test with flying colors yesterday, going two scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two strikeouts. Morton saw himself get into a couple jams in those two innings, but was able to escape them unscathed.

The Phillies jumped out to a 1-0 lead when journeyman Hector Luna hit a solo shot to left field off of Chris Resop. The home run was Resop’s only blemish in his two innings of work, but it was enough to give him the loss. With the decision, Resop’s spring record went to 1-1.

The Phillies doubled their lead in the top of the fifth when they hit their second home run in as many innings. This time shortstop Jimmy Rollins belted his first of the spring off of Tony Watson. Watson, who came up mid-season last year and helped in the bullpen, has struggled to this point in the spring. Watson has posted a 10.80 ERA, one that will not help his case to start the year in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh cut the deficit to 2-1 when Gorkys Hernandez recorded one of the two hits on the day for the Pirates, and then came around to score on an error by shortstop Michael Martinez.

Philadelphia put the game away in the eighth, scoring two runs off of Ryoto Igarashi. The loss sent the Pirates back to 3-7 on the spring. Jordy Mercer recorded the other hit for the Pirates.

The Pirates will enjoy their first off day since spring training opened on Feb.18 today. It is one of three off days scheduled before the April 5 season opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. Not everyone will enjoy their day off though, as it is possible that Manager Clint Hurdle could make his first round of cuts today.

The Pirates will return to action on Wednesday, March 14, when they make their second trip to Sarasota, Fla. to face the Baltimore Orioles. Their first trip resulted in a 10-3 victory on March 5. James McDonald is scheduled to make his third start of the spring.

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