KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Pirates were one out away from their first shutout of the Grapefruit League season. But after Bryan Morris walked a pair of batters and threw a wild pitch to put runners in scoring position, Brooks Brown served up an RBI single. Still, it was an impressive showing from the Pirates' pitching staff (even if it is against the Houston Astros). The Pirates won, 3-2. Box score
Funny story from Kissimmee -- Russell Martin is scheduled to bat third. When his spot in the order comes up, I see a guy in the on-deck circle wearing a No. 94 jersey, no name on the back. Immediate thought is something happened to Russell Martin in early batting practice. But, no, it was Martin. He took off early from the clubhouse, but Clint Hurdle said there are two theories floating around.
1. Someone pranked Martin by stealing his No. 55 jersey out of his travel bag.
2. Martin forgot his jersey.
We'll call this one JerseyGate 2013.
Here is your Good, Not-So-Good...
Jonathan Sanchez – The left-handed pitcher gave the Pirates three strong innings, striking out three without issuing a walk. He allowed one hit.
Jeanmar Gomez – He pitched three innings, striking out three, surrendering one hit and issuing one walk.
Garrett Jones – In his first game back after tweaking his oblique, Jones went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Pedro Alvarez – He went 1 for 2 with a double, a run and a walk.
Travis Snider – He went 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run.
Chris Leroux – Three up, three down in his first outing back from Team Canada.
Ivan DeJesus Jr. – He went 2 for 3 to raise his batting average to .385 this spring.
Jordy Mercer – Hit a sacrifice fly and went 1 for 2.
Starling Marte – He went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. But it wasn’t a bad strikeout. He worked to a full count and whiffed on a fastball that appeared to be in the zone.
Alex Presley – He also went 0 for 3 with a strikeout.
Michael McKenry – He went 0 for 3 with a pair of Ks and stranded three baserunners.
Tony Watson is scheduled to pitch Sunday. It will be his first game action since Feb. 28.
Garrett Jones said he felt fine after three at-bats and six innings in the field. That's one more at-bat and one more inning than previously anticipated. Looks like all systems are go. (He went 2 for 3, but neither ball was really well struck. Still, the biggest achievement is getting on the field.)
Bryan Morris avoided the Good, Not-So-Good list. I had him in the good when he pitched one clean inning. He came out for a second inning of work and lost a little command. A good first, a sub-par second. He would have had a pretty clean line, but Brown surrendered that two-run single.
Gerrit Cole is scheduled to pitch tomorrow in Fort Myers against the Twins. A.J. Burnett will throw in a minor league game at Pirate City -- about 80-85 pitches.
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