McCutchen gets HR, 3 hits, Pirates lose to Twins
BRADENTON, Fla. – Andrew McCutchen homered, doubled and singled Friday for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
McCutchen went 3 for 3, scored twice and drove in two runs. The reigning NL MVP is 8 for 11 in four games this spring.
“No big deal,” he said. “They don’t count in the spring.”
McCutchen’s two-run homer was part of a five-run barrage against Minnesota starter Vance Worley in 1 2-3 innings.
In the first inning, the Pirates sent nine batters to the plate and scored three times. McCutchen doubled and scored on Travis Snider’s two-run single.
Worley was replaced by Kris Johnson after serving up McCutchen’s homer in the second. Worley faced 12 batters, but recorded only four outs. The right-hander allowed five hits.
Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out two.
Pirates: Rodriguez threw more breaking balls than he did in his first spring outing. He’s had trouble finding the zone with his curveball.
“I need to get that pitch over for strikes,” Rodriguez said.
Twins: Worley is trying to re-establish himself in the major league rotation after finishing last season in the minors. He made 10 starts for the Twins and went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA.
Need for speed
To be the Twins’ everyday center fielder, Alex Presley needs to show he can get on base more often and be a base-stealing threat.
In 28 games last season, Presley had a .336 on-base percentage but swiped only one base in four tries. This spring, he’s competing with Aaron Hicks for the starting job.
Better late than never
Pirates closer Jason Grilli made his first outing of spring training and tossed a 1-2-3 inning.
“It feels good to get on the bump and see all the hard work come into effect,” Grilli said.
There was a marquee matchup in the Twins-Pittsburgh B game at the Pirates’ minor league complex. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, who’s rated the game’s top prospect by Baseball America, faced Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole.
The 20-year-old Buxton was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. At Class A last year, he batted .334 with 12 home runs and 55 stolen bases. The 23-year-old Cole was the first overall pick in 2011. He made his big league debut last June and went 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA.