Pirates 5, Netherlands 4

Snell 1 2-23.jpgIn addition to the Pirates’ win over the Netherlands World Baseball Classic team, away from McKechnie Field today a handful of Pittsburgh players had notable days as well.

Ian Snell (pictured left) started for Puerto Rico and pitched three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out the side in the first.

Ramon Vazquez started at third for the Puerto Rican team and went 1-for-4 with an RBI single.

Reliever Dave Davidson pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Team Canada to pick up a save in the Canadians’ win over the Blue Jays. Davidson struck out one.

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Ross Ohlendorf wasn’t as sharp on Tuesday as he was in his first Spring Training outing, but managed to limit the damage to one run despite giving up four hits in two innings.

Ohlendorf had initially been slated to throw three innings, but with his changeup not working exceptionally well, Ohlendorf was pulled after two and finished his day by throwing some changeups in the bullpen.

“The changeup was a little more erratic today as opposed to the other day,” manager John Russell said afterward. “He was just trying to do some things with his changeup that weren’t working so well.”

On a positive note, though, Ohlendorf did impress by effectively throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. 

“Last time was a little better, but I was able to get double plays, which was really good,” said Ohlendorf, who ended both the first and second with twin-killings. “More so than numbers, I think it’s [important to see] if they hit the ball hard or not. I didn’t feel like I got hit hard.”

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Rule 5 Draft pick Donnie Veal made his fourth scoreless appearance on Tuesday. And for a guy who was supposed to have control issues, Veal’s showed very little problem throwing strikes. He has walked just one batter in four innings. And on Tuesday, he struck out the side.

Veal also impressed with his ability to throw his breaking pitches for strikes.

“He came into Spring Training pretty consistent with everything he’s got,” Russell said. “He’s continuing to take it to the mound.”

It’s still early, but at this point, Veal seems to have a hand on one of those final bullpen spots. Remember, if the Pirates don’t take him north, they lose him. 

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Non-roster invitee Garrett Jones had the offensive performance of the day, with two hits and three RBIs in his four at-bats. Jones is an intriguing option as the Pirates look to fill out their final two bench spots. He can play first and also anywhere in the outfield.

And as Russell said, Jones has always had a knack for the big hit.

“I like Garrett,” Russell said. “He has good at-bats with guys on base. What he did today is what I remember of him.”

Jones is now 4-for-9 this spring.

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Former Pirate Randall Simon made a visit to McKechnie Field on Tuesday as the captain of the Netherlands’ team. Yes, he talked about the infamous sausage race fiasco. But he also talked about using the WBC as an opportunity to try and break back into the Majors.

“I think I can still play,” he said. “I’ve been working hard this offseason to stay ready and to stay in shape. I’m letting everybody know that I can still play the game of baseball and that I can still play in the Major Leagues. These three [exhibition] games and the Classic, it’s a great exposure for me to show that I can still play.”

Simon played independent ball last year.  

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Up Next: The Pirates (5-1) will play the Twins on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field. And get excited… for the first time this spring, you won’t have to rely solely on me to bring you the report. The game will be webcast for free on our website, www.pirates.com.

Tom Gorzelanny will be making the start for the Pirates. Chris Bootcheck, Tyler Yates and Craig Hansen are all scheduled to pitch in relief. The Twins will start Francisco Liriano. 

1 Comment

Donnie Veal still looking good, hope we can keep this guy. Garret Jones where did this guy come from? He keeps hitting, so who does he replace on the team if he keeps it up. Go Bucs.

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