Reds 10, Pirates 6
For those wondering why Steve Pearce has seemingly disappeared this spring, he’s slowed by a sore right calf. Pearce has not played since Feb. 26 and is 1-for-3 in four plate appearances. Manager John Russell listed Pearce as day-to-day, but it may still be a while before he shows back up in the lineup. As of Thursday, he was still not able to do much work outside of taking batting practice.
Pearce was already a longshot to make the team out of Spring Training (as a backup outfielder), and this setback could hurt his chances even more, especially if he is out for a while longer.
Though starter Paul Maholm wasn’t the focus of any of my site stories today, his outing is worth mentioning here. Maholm needed only 30 pitches to throw three innings in his start on Thursday. The lefty allowed two hits and one run.
“Today, I wanted to make sure my command and everything was there,” he said afterward. “I mixed in some more breaking balls early and felt good with it. I got the ground balls and stuff when I needed to. The main work is in-between starts, then you go out there and make sure you get quick outs.”
Infielder Luis Cruz returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s game as a precautionary measure for his earlier left hip flexor strain. Cruz showed no problems running the bases when he singled in the ninth. He also made a dazzling defensive stop in the bottom half of the inning and came just a step short of recovering in time to throw out the runner at first.
As for your World Baseball Classic update:
- Infielder Ramon Vazquez went 2-for-3 with an RBI as Team Puerto Rico took on the Red Sox. Vazquez started at third.
- Reliever John Grabow allowed one hit and hit a batter (Ryan Howard) in 2/3 innings of relief for Team USA.
- Reliever Dave Davidson tossed another scoreless inning for Team Canada. He struck out two.
Up Next: The Pirates are back home on Friday and will face the defending American League champion Rays at 1:05 p.m. ET. Most notable about tomorrow’s affair is that it will be the first Spring Training appearance for Virgil Vasquez. Vasquez was slowed by some arm soreness in mid-February, which caused him to fall behind in his pitching schedule.
Also scheduled to pitch for the Pirates are Jimmy Barthmaier, Matt Capps, Sean Burnett and Jesse Chavez.
For those not down here in sunny Bradenton, the game will be webcast for free on pirates.com.