On a day that Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin visited McKechnie Field, it was the Pirates that put up football type numbers as part of an 18-4 victory.
The Pittsburgh Pirates [14-10-3] defeated the Philadelphia Phillies for its fourth consecutive victory. In the game the Pirates had 16 hits and six home runs.
Mark Melancon [1-0] got the start allowing one hit but striking out two batters. Tony Watson and Arquimedes Caminero each followed with an inning of work and zero runs allowed. Caminero added another two strikeouts pushing his mark to 18 punch outs in 12.1 innings of work. Watson has yet to be scored on in seven innings of work and Caminero owns a Spring Training ERA of 1.59.
Rob Scahill, who was optioned to Indy on Tuesday morning, pitched two additional shutout innings surrendering a hit and a walk. Adrian Sampson threw the final four innings allowing four runs and six hits. This included a Freddy Galvis two-run homer in the sixth inning. Sampson also pitched up his first save of the season.
Josh Harrison opened the Pirates scoring with a lead-off home run, his second of the season. He would later triple off the right-center wall in the fifth inning. Harrison is batting .302 this spring.
The Pirates had a three-run third inning. The scoring started with a Gregory Polanco RBI single and he scored when Starling Marte blasted his second home run of Spring Training.
Tony Sanchez served as the designated hitter in this contest and hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Sanchez is batting .429 with four homers and nine RBI in 15 games this spring.
Pedro Alvarez connected for two home runs, his third and fourth in the fifth and eighth innings. The fifth inning homer plated two and the eighth inning blast was a grand slam. Alvarez leads the team with 15 RBI this spring. He also is batting .325.
Pedro Florimon added a two-run home run of his own, his second of the spring in the sixth inning. Additional runs were scored with Polanco and Neil Walker singles in the fifth inning, which each plated one and a Justin Maffei single that brought home an additional two Pirates. Maffei was the team’s 25th round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.
The Pirates added to their attendance record with 106,038 fans, an average of 7,069 in 15 home games.
A road contest awaits the Pirates Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers. Vance Worley, who earlier Tuesday lost to Jeff Locke in the fourth starter battle will begin the game against David Price. Worley will be used in long relief out of the bullpen. Antonio Bastardo also is expected to pitch.
On Tuesday morning, the Pirates optioned reliever John Holdzkom to Indianapolis. Holdzkom still had options left.
“It’s frustrating, I’m just going to look at it as just another part of my career, it’s not going to define me,” he said to Jeff Hathhorn from 93.7 The Fan.
As mentioned above, Mike Tomlin visited Pirates camp. Tomlin and manager Clint Hurdle are good friends and Tomlin entertained the thought of what it would be like to have Jared Hughes and Andrew McCutchen on his team.
“It’s good to have a coaching brother,” Tomlin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s Rob Biertempfel. “He’s a guy who’s right-minded. We share a lot of philosophical thoughts on how to lead men. It’s been fun to watch him develop these groups over the years, and I’m excited to watch him do it again this year.”
Jaff Decker who was removed from Sunday’s win was seen in the clubhouse with his leg wrapped in heavy tape. He told the assembled media that it felt better than the previous day.