Rays 4, Pirates 2

Thumbnail image for Wilson 09ST 02-17 (296.jpgJack Wilson (pictured left) left Wednesday’s game after just one inning, but there’s no need for concern. It was just his asthma giving Wilson problems.

He said that his allergies and asthma started bothering him while he was taking groundballs pre-game. Wilson stopped fielding and stood in the outfield to shag fly balls but still said he never was really able to catch his breath. The dry Port Charlotte air was part of the problem.

Wilson had a first-inning at-bat and didn’t make any plays in the field, but was taken out when he continued to struggle to get good breaths of air.

“I felt like I played 15 innings,” he joked afterward, noting the difficulty in breathing. 

Brian Bixler finished the game at short.

***

Injury Report:

  • As I noted in the earlier blog posting, Andy Phillips (lower back stiffness) participated in workouts on Wednesday and plans to do so on Thursday, possibly standing in at the plate when Phil Dumatrait throws live batting practice over at Pirate City. Phillips said the injection he had has worked wonders on the pain and that if all goes well, he should be back in games on Friday. Manager John Russell said that Phillips will likely play at least one Minor League game before returning to Grapefruit League action.
  • Russell said that Evan Meek (tired shoulder) is doing much better and should be in action soon.
  • As mentioned above, Dumatrait (left arm injury) is set to throw another round of live BP on Thursday. The Pirates have not yet determined what will come next for the left-hander in his return to game-play.

***

With the Pirates needing to extend some of their other starters, Paul Maholm will make his next start in a Minor League game at Pirate City on Friday. Maholm has a pitch limit of 90. Jesse Chavez is also scheduled to pitch in that game.

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Minor Matters: Former Pirate and No. 1 Draft pick Bryan Bullington pitched against his former team in a Minor League game on Wednesday. He allowed just two hits and struck out three in 4 2/3 scoreless innings. … Brian Slocum appeared in the game for the Pirates and gave up three earned runs on four hits in three innings. He took the loss.  

***

Up Next: We all get to enjoy one more day off this spring on Thursday before the Pirates play the Blue Jays at 7:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field on Friday.

Virgil Vasquez, who is still fighting for a rotation spot, will make the start for the Bucs on Friday. Vasquez allowed seven hits and six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in his last Grapefruit League outing (March 17). Vasquez did pitch five scoreless innings in a Minor League game after that outing.

Roy Halladay is scheduled to start for Toronto. There will be a Zambelli fireworks display following the game for those attending. 

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