Vance Worley pitched four shutout innings in his attempt to create separation in the battle for the fifth spot in the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation. The Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 Sunday to move to 6-5-2 in Spring Training.
The game was played in front of 7,603 fans, good for the fourth Pirates sellout of the spring.
It was the Pirates that struck first on a first inning Neil Walker double off Wei-Yin Chen to score Josh Harrison. An additional run was tacked on in the fourth inning when Tony Sanchez continued his fast start to the spring with a pinch-hit RBI single. Sanchez is now 8-for-15 on the spring and his five RBI leads the team.
Worley pitched four innings allowing three total base runners and striking out two batters.
“I’m doing all right,” Worley said to reporters. “Do I want to start? Yes, because that’s all I’ve ever done well. But my only concern is pitching well, and helping this team any way I can.”
Mark Melancon threw the fifth inning and set down the side in order. The same could not be said for Antonio Bastardo who continued his Spring Training struggles. Former Pirate Steve Pearce hit his second home run of the spring to tie the game at two. Bastardo has a 9.00 ERA after allowing three hits and the aforementioned two runs. Bastardo both walked and struck out a batter.
Arquimedes Caminero continued to make his push for a bullpen spot with shutout seventh and eighth innings. Caminero gave up two hits but also struck out two batters. Caminero has now struck out nine batters in six innings.
Caminero [1-0] picked up the win after a two-run eighth inning. Gorkys Hernandez had the game winning hit, a single which scored Stetson Allie and Caminero then helped his own cause with another RBI single.
Blake Wood picked up his first save striking out the side in the ninth inning.
Harrison was 2-for-3 in the game while Elias Diaz extended his hitting streak to four games. Francisco Liriano pitched four innings in the team’s “B” game throwing 58 pitches and giving up two runs.
The Pirates have a day off Monday before hosting the Houston Astros Tuesday at 1:05 PM in a game televised by Root Sports. Jeff Locke will start for the Pirates against Roberto Hernandez for the Astros. Jared Hughes, John Holdzkom, Blake Wood and Rob Scahill are all scheduled to pitch.
Notebook: The Pirates optioned Stetson Allie to their minor league camp. Allie, a pitcher turned hitter and 2010 second-round draft pick batted .286 seeing limited action in five games. The Pirates will likely put Allie in Triple-A Indianapolis and give him more at-bats and opportunities. The Pirates now have 57 players remaining on the Spring Training roster.
“I’ve had a great time soaking it all in and getting to know everybody,” Allie said to Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m getting more comfortable around the clubhouse, have learned a lot and have had a blast.”