Maholm And Walker Help Bucs Get Revenge On Phillies

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After falling to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates headed to beautiful Clearwater, Florida for the rematch on Saturday.  If the Bucco bats were looking for a challenge this Spring Training season, they may have found one, as Philadelphia put Roy Halladay on the mound.  The Pirates countered with their potential ace, Paul Maholm.
The Phillies struck first in the 2nd inning when their designated hitter, Ben Francisco, hammered a homerun to left field.  The one run was the only that either starter would give up on the afternoon.  Maholm went three innings, allowing the one run on four hits, while striking out a pair.  Halladay also pitched three innings, giving up one hit, walking two and striking out four.
Both teams would score in the fourth inning.  The Pirates tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field by Garrett Jones, scoring Lyle Overbay.  The Phillies, however, retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth when former Pirate Delwyn Young doubled to left field off Jeff Karstens, scoring Ben Francisco to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.
The Pirates tied the game once again in the fifth inning when Andrew McCutchen grounded out to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, scoring John Bowker from third.  The fifth inning also marked the end of the day for Karstens, who gave up one run on two hits while striking out one through his two innings of work.
Neil Walker, the Pittsburgh Kid, gave the Buccos a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning on a two-run homerun to left field that scored Overbay.  Phillies’ right handed pitcher J.C. Ramirez was tagged with all four of Pittsburgh’s runs throughout the day.  His final line was three innings pitched, five hits, four earned runs, one strikeout, and giving up Walker’s homerun.
Philadelphia closed the gap in the seventh when Michael Martinez singled to left field off Pirates’ pitcher Tony Watson.  This scored Young from third, cutting the lead to 4-3.  Watson finished his day after two innings, having given up one run on three hits, with one strikeout. 
Pirates’ pitcher Chris Leroux came into the ninth and closed out the game for the Buccos.  The final out came when the Phillies’ Freddy Galvis flied into a double play on which Wilson Valdez was caught off first base.
The Pirates were able to get a little revenge on Philadelphia today, winning the game 4-3.  Timely hits and an all-around good pitching performance helped lead Pittsburgh to the victory.  With the first full week of Spring Training games in the book, the Pirates have a record of 5-4.  They will be back in action on Sunday when they take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05pm.  It will also be the first of four televised Spring Training games for the Pirates on ROOT Sports, formerly FSN Pittsburgh.

Spring Training Record:  5-4
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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