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By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit:  http://www.hardballtalk.nbcsports.com
The Pirates had a busy Saturday afternoon today, with intra-squad games against the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles.  Kevin Correia and Erik Bedard started against the Twins and Orioles respectively, and neither, well, exactly propelled much confidence with their performances today.
Kevin Correia will make his first start of the season in a little over a week in the Pirates’ first road game of 2012.  In his final Spring Training game, he (and the rest of the team) was hoping for a strong performance to carry over to the regular season.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen today against the Minnesota Twins.
Ryan Doumit’s new teams lit Correia up for 10 runs on 12 hits in just 2.1 innings today.  After a routine opening inning, Kevin ran into a world of trouble in the two subsequent innings, and wasn’t able to escape the third frame.  Daniel McCutchen, who will also be apart of the Opening Day roster bullpen, also struggled, as did Tim Wood.  D-Cutch surrendered three runs on three hits in an inning, while Wood was touched up for two runs on four hits in two innings.  Not the kind of performance we want from the pitching staff leading up to the regular season. 
Offensively, Jose Tabata and Michael McKenry were the only Pirates to have a multi-hit game, and McKenry blasted a homerun for the Bucs today.  Pedro Alvarez went 1-4 with only one strikeout, and Matt Hague also homered, his sixth of the spring.  He continues to make a strong case for an Opening Day roster spot, along with Yamaico Navarro, who went 1-4 today.
The Twins won the game, 15-3.
Similar to Correia (but not quite to that extent), Erik Bedard struggled in his start today, giving up four runs on five hits, including two homeruns.  His ERA sits at 5.03 right now, and even though this is just Spring Training, this is not the way one of the top pitchers in the Pirates’ rotation needs to throwing as we approach Opening Day.
Joel Hanrahan gave up a run today, while Chris Leroux had a solid one inning of relief, striking out two batters without giving up a single hit.
Garrett Jones had a homerun (his fourth of the spring) and two RBI’s, while Rod Barajas and Casey McGehee had a pair of hits a piece.  Clint Barmes and Alex Presley each had a hit as well, including Presley’s solo homerun.
The Bucs and Orioles played to a 6-6 tie. 
The Pirates will face the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow afternoon before heading to Philadelphia for the final two exhibition games against the Phillies.
Grapefruit League:  8-18-2
And…
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!