Basepath bumbling proved costly as the Pirates dropped a 3-1 decision to the Tigers in Lakeland. The loss left the Bucs 8-10-1 on the spring.
The blunders started early. Cole Tucker led off the second with a triple. After Dustin Fowler got called out on strikes, Jared Oliva bounced to a drawn-in Jonathan Schoop. Tucker went for the plate and was thrown out easily. Oliva then got himself picked off first.
In the third, with two out and runners on the corners, Tigers’ pitcher Matthew Boyd threw to first and Kevin Newman got caught heading for the plate for another caught stealing.
The Pirates capped off their misadventures in the ninth. They started the inning with a single by Liover Peguero and a walk to Canaan Smith-Njigba. When Nick Gonzales blooped one into shallow right, second baseman Greg Garcia went back to make the catch and then caught Peguero off second.
The hitters didn’t help things, going 1-for-11 with RISP. The only run came in the fourth, when Phillip Evans grounded a double down the left field line and Colin Moran bounced a single up the middle. On the plus side, Newman went 2-for-2 with a double and a walk, and now has an OBP of .762 on the spring.
Tyler Anderson gave the Pirates a good start, going five innings on just 66 pitches. He gave up two hits, walked nobody and fanned four. One of the hits was a bomb by Miguel Cabrera, who’s been known to do that.
Richard Rodriguez gave up a run in his inning on two doubles. One was actually a fly ball that Anthony Alford failed to catch. He’s been having trouble with balls hit in the air, which could be a drawback in center field. The other run was charged to Kyle Crick. He gave up just an infield hit, then left with two out and a runner on second. Michael Feliz gave up a hit to drive in the run. As far as I can tell, Crick was fine. Feliz was scheduled to work and had to replace Crick because Detroit was ahead and it was the bottom of the eighth. The only other pitcher, Chasen Shreve, had a quick inning.