BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pirates rallied from an early deficit to beat the Boston Red Sox, 4-3, today at McKechnie Field.
Pitching against his former team, Mark Melancon earned the win, allowing one hit and striking out two batters in one scoreless inning. Starter James McDonald settled down from a rough first inning and found a nice groove. He lasted five innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits. He struck out six batters and walked three.
Command was his big issue early, but McDonald found a rhythm – and more importantly the strike zone. Once he commanded his fastball, his breaking pitches were dazzling.
The key for McDonald is the first inning. It has been an issue this spring. It has been an issue for most of his career. So far, it looks like he hasn’t figured it out.
Here is your good, not-so-good list…
James McDonald – Recovers from a rough first to keep his team in the game and leave on a high note.
Gaby Sanchez – The power surge continues with a two-run homer that gave the Pirates the lead.
Neil Walker – A left-handed home run easily cleared the right-field fence. He finished 1 for 2.
Michael McKenry – The Fort adds some offensive insurance with an eighth-inning blast. The extra run proved important.
Josh Harrison – He drew a walk and singled in his only at-bat.
Jason Grilli – Sharp as can be in his first game back from a stint with Team Italy.
Mark Melancon – It wasn’t exactly pretty, but Melancon escaped with a scoreless inning. His ERA this spring is now 1.29.
Chris Leroux – He is still yet to give up a run this spring.
Russell Martin – Goes 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
Brad Hawpe – The non-roster invitee went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and a walk.
Bryan Morris – He earned the save, but he surrendered one run on two hits in one inning while protecting a two-run lead.
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