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Us versus … um, Us.

Once the fog burned off this morning, it was time to play ball at McKechnie Field.

Once the fog burned off this morning, it was time to play ball at McKechnie Field.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Nice to finally see some “real” baseball again today, even if it was only an eight-inning intrasquad scrimmage that ended in a 4-4 tie. An overview from manager Clint Hurdle: “You keep a game like this in perspective. Overall, our defense was good. I was happy with the aggressiveness by the basestealers, the jumps. Our two-strike approach was pretty good. Our pitches targeted the ball and hit the middle a lot. It was a good day.”

»»» Tony Sanchez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning. Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 2, including a double, and stole two bases. Matt Hague went 2 for 3, including a double. Jeff Clement went 2 for 2 with a walk and one RBI. Yamaico Navarro played the first five innings at shortstop and went 2 for 2.

»»» Hurdle’s thoughts on the news that pitcher A.J. Burnett will be out for eight to 12 weeks as he recovers from surgery on his fractured orbital bone: “Our thoughts are with him. It’s a very unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in. Depth is critical. One of the things we were very aggressive with was creating more depth. You’re always going to get adversity, there’s always shifts that come and go. When shift happens, you’ve got to put a foot down and go from there.”

Shift happens. Love it.

»»» Hurdle rightly made no apology for having his pitchers take part in the bunt drills that led to Burnett’s injury. “Fluke things happen. It’s unfortunate, but you move on. He’d been bunting for a week. It’s not like we just threw a bat in his hand that day. It’s a fluke. You don’t need to take it any deeper than that.”

»»» Root Sports will televise four spring training games: Saturday vs. the Twins, March 21 vs. the Red Sox, March 24 vs. the Astros and March 26 vs. the Orioles. The game against the O’s begins at 7 p.m.; the other three start at 1 p.m. Sixteen games will be broadcast on 93.7 FM, starting with the game at 1:05 p.m. Sunday against the Blue Jays. All other games (except the March 31 split-squad game against the Twins in Fort Myers, Fla.) can be heard on

»»» The Pirates’ lineup for Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Toronto Blue Jays: 1. Jose Tabata rf, 2. Clint Barmes ss, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Casey McGehee 1b, 5. Yamaico Navarro 3b, 6. Nate McLouth cf, 7. Jake Fox dh, 8. Gorkys Hernandez lf, 9. Michael McKenry c. Pitcher: James McDonald, rhp

McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Rod Barajas, Pedro Alvarez, Josh Harrison and Alex Presley will not make the trip to Dunedin, Fla.



  1. Harry says:

    Walker, McGehee and Navarro. Sort of like Clemente, Stargell and Oliver if you ask me.

  2. Van Man says:

    We can’t even win an intrasquad game. How weak is that?

  3. John Lease says:

    The real stuff begins!

  4. Nice article on Sanchez today.

  5. Leefoo says:

    Groat………I agree….Great article. I hope Tony turns it around this year.

    Hoping for Lambo and Owens, too. Is Lambo even in camp?

  6. Leefoo says:

    Van Man……….lol

  7. Leefoo says:


  8. John G says:

    Leefoo, my understanding is both Lambo and Owens are in camp but both players took a step back in their development last year. Lambo took more of a step back tham Owens did. It would be nice for a change if some of the younger players would finally take advantage of the oppurtunity and play well enough to at least be on the team. Jeff Clements may surprise some people as he is healthy now and has the potential to at least be a good hitter. I don’t know if it is just me or what but it seems the Pirates have had many AAAA players (scouts name for players too good for the minor leagues but not good enough for the major leagues) through the years. Brad Eldred, Chad Hermannson and one other player player whoise first name was Andy or Adam ome to mind for this type of player.

  9. Lambo is in minor league camp. He was in big league camp last year, but followed that up with a tough season — he struggled at the plate and wound up being demoted.

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