BALTIMORE — The Pirates today signed eight draft picks: infielder Eric Wood (sixth round); catcher Jake Stallings (seventh); righties Pat Ludwig (10th), Kyle Haynes (20th) and Lance Breedlove (23rd); and lefties Dalton Friend (12th), Tom Harlan (13th) and Josh Smith (25th). The amounts of signing bonuses were not revealed, but they’ll leak out over the next couple of days. That raises the total of draftees signed to nine. Wood was assigned to rookie league Bradenton. The others were sent to short-season A State College.
»»» Runners-up: The Phillies are the most popular team in Pennylvania, according to the annual Quinipiac baseball poll released today. The Phils were favored by 48 percent of poll respondents, compared to 25 percent who chose the Pirates. Also listed were the Yankees (8 percent), Orioles (3 percent) and Mets and Red Sox (2 percent apiece). In Allegheny County, 78 percent of those questioned chose the Pirates. Central Pennsylvanians opted for the Phillies over the Pirates, 38 percent to 19 percent. Pollsters queried 1,129 adults.
»»» Stargell stamp: Willie Stargell ranks third among a group of four Hall of Famers honored on stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service. Since the May 13 release, 5,920 Stargell stamps have been pre-ordered. The leaders are Ted Williams (14,380 stamps) and Joe DiMaggio (10,100). Larry Doby is fourth (4,700). Individual stamp sheets will be sold starting July 31 only in Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, Cleveland and Cooperstown, N.Y.
»»» Familiar face: I stopped by the Orioles clubhouse before the game to say hi to Steve Pearce. He’s only been in Baltimore a few days since his callup and is still learning his way around the ballpark and around town. I asked him how much of a grind it’ll be playing in the AL East against the Yanks, Red Sox, Rays and Jays. “We have the fourth-best record in the majors and we’re in third place in our division. What do you think?” Pearce said with a laugh.
Game 61: Pirates @ Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET
Pirates (32-28): 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Neil Walker 2b , 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones dh, 5. Casey McGehee 1b, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Jose Tabata rf, 8. Clint Barmes ss, 9. Michael McKenry c. Pitcher: Kevin Correia rhp (2-5, 4.29)
Orioles (35-26): 1. Brian Roberts 2b, 2. J.J. Hardy ss, 3. Chris Davis dh, 4. Adam Jones cf, 5. Matt Wieters c, 6. Mark Reynolds 1b, 7. Wilson Betemit 3b, 8. Steve Pearce lf, 9. Ryan Flaherty rf. Pitcher: Jake Arrieta rhp (2-8, 6.32)