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By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: Dave Arrigo/Pirates
The Pirates took on the Rays this afternoon, hoping to end their current streak of woeful pitching and poor defense.  Unfortunately, the trend would only continue today, as Tampa Bay beat up on the Buccos, 9-5.
Charlie Morton made the start today for Pittsburgh.  The right-hander with “great stuff” has been the most consistent starting pitcher this spring for the Pirates.  The Rays got to him this afternoon, however. 
After a decent start to the ballgame, Morton gave up three runs in the second inning.  Sam Fuld hit a two-run double to left and Ben Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly for the Rays, tying the game, at that point, at three runs a piece.
Morton ran into trouble again in the fifth frame, hitting a batter and walking another with the bases loaded, giving up the Pirates’ lead once again, this time tying the game, 5-5. 
It would a rough day for Chuck, giving up five runs on five runs while walking three though five innings, and his ERA inflated to 3.32 for the spring. 
The rest of the Pirates’ pitching staff didn’t fair much better.  Other than Jose Veras’s one inning of shutout baseball, the Bucs’ throwers struggled mightily.  Joel Hanrahan was tagged with the loss today, giving up two runs and walking two in his one inning of work, while Chris Resop gave up two runs on three hits through an inning.
From an offensive standpoint, it was rather uneventful.  With most of the starting position players being inactive, including Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, and Neil Walker, the production was certainly at a premium.  Josh Rodriguez had a hit and two RBI, while Ryan Doumit had a huge double on the day as well. 
The Pirates actually out-hit the Rays today, but, as we’ve seen so incredibly often in recent years, we left a lot of men on base.  With the loss, the Buccos fall to 10-18 this spring. 
The Pirates will take on the New York Yankees tomorrow afternoon in Tampa Bay for a 1:05pm first pitch.  Kevin Correia, who was recently announced as the team’s starter for Opening Day, will take the mound for the Buccos tomorrow.
And…
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!