Pirates Swept By Blue Jays And Phillies In Split Squad Scrimmage

Photo Credit:  BleacherReport.com

Following an exciting victory last night against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Pirates took the field today again a split squad scrimmage.  The Buccos sent Ross Ohlendorf to the mound as they hosted the Philadelphia Phillies, while Jeff Locke made the start against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Phillies jumped out on top of Ohlendorf early this afternoon, and the Pirates were never able to recover.  The Pirates’ right hander didn’t pitch like one of the team’s projected top starters, giving up four runs on five hits while walking three through only two innings of work.  Justin Thompson didn’t fair much better in relief, as he also gave up four runs on five hits through a pair of innings.  
The Phillies got contributions from all over the lineup on Saturday against the struggling Pirates’ pitching.  John Mayberry and Cory Sullivan led the way with three RBI’s a piece, while Pete Orr and Ross Gload added three hits as the Phillies destroyed the Pirates’ starter and bullpen for much of the afternoon.
Phillies’ starter shut down the Pirates today, giving up only one run on two hits in his 3.1 innings of work.  The lone earned run came off the bat of Lyle Overbay on a solo homerun in the fourth inning, cutting the Pirates’ deficit to 8-1. 
The Pirates’ hitters were held in check virtually all day, accumulating only five hits in the entire game.  Not a single Bucco had a multi-hit game, while Matt Hague was the offensive “star” of the day, driving home two RBI’s.  The Phillies won the game, 11-4 at McKechnie Field.
While a portion of the Buccos’ squad was getting hammered by the Phillies, the other half of the team was taking on the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.  Pittsburgh took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.  The first run came from a Matt Diaz ground out to second base, scoring Josh Rodriguez.  Andrew McCutchen scored one batter later when Andy Marte doubled to left.  Toronto cut the lead in the bottom half of the second when J.P. Arencibia hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Edwin Encarnacion.
The Buccos extended their lead to 4-1 in the third inning when McCutchen blased a two-run homer.  The Blue Jays again responded by cutting the lead in half in the bottom half of the inning when Encarnacion hit a solo home run.  Unfortunately for the Buccos, 4-2 would be their final lead of the day.  Toronto took control in the fifth inning when they tied the score with two runs. 
Our neighbors from the north then took full control of the game in the bottom half of the seventh.  They took the lead on a Travis Snyder single to center field, which scored Manny Mayorson.  Their second run of the inning came on a wild pitch by the Pirates’ Ramon Aguero, allowing Kevin Nolan to score.  This made the score 6-4 in favor of the Blue Jays, which would be the final.
Split-squad games are an opportunity for players to showcase their abilities.  Today, Andrew McCutchen proved he is a big league player by going two for three with two RBI with one strikeout.  Second baseman Josh Rodriguez also had two hits on the afternoon.  Pirates’ pitching had another rough day, with a total of five pitchers giving up eight hits, six runs, five walks, while striking out six batters.
Following two losses in their split squad scrimmages today, the Pirates are back in action tomorrow against the Boston Red Sox in Bradenton, FloridaBrad Lincoln will start for the Pirates, while Josh Beckett starts for Boston.

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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