Bullpen Bounces Back as Pirates Shut Out Yankees 3-0
The Pittsburgh Pirates shut out the New York Yankees 3-0 at LECOM Field on Saturday, March 11.
The Pirates’ batters got on base often but outside of a third-inning outburst, they weren’t able to bring anyone around to score, leaving 17 runners on.
It didn’t matter, however, as Pittsburgh’s pitching staff starred, including 13 strikeouts of Yankees’ batters.
Johan Oviedo had his best outing of spring training. To this point in his career, the young pitcher’s success has hinged on his control, which he had a handle on today. Oviedo threw 31 strikes on 41 pitches, punching out three Yankees and allowing two singles. He wasn’t facing the full force of New York’s lineup, to be sure, but it’s a step in the right direction after some early meltdowns.
The bullpen, similarly, bounced back after a series of shaky games, allowing four baserunners in six scoreless innings.
Carmen Mlodzinski still hasn’t given up an earned run this year, notching 1.1 innings and striking out a pair of Yankees on 18 pitches. He was a non-roster invite to spring training and is making the most of the opportunity after pitching to a 4.78 ERA in 105.1 innings with Altoona last season.
After a leadoff single by Tucupita Marcano, the Pirates took a 3-0 lead in the third with back-to-back home runs, pouncing on Yankees’ right-hander Ryan Weber’s offspeed stuff. Ke’Bryan Hayes tattooed a changeup over the fence in left-center, 106 miles per hour off the bat at a 25 degree launch angle.
Bryan Reynolds hit his own homer two pitches later, smashing a curveball to right-center.
Hayes smoked another ball the next inning, this one at 108.1 mph, but it went right back to pitcher Ian Hamilton for a double play.
Endy Rodriguez played the last three innings at first base as the Pirates work to decide where he’ll fit in in the majors.
After a wild pitch put two Yankees in scoring position in the eighth inning, right-hander Wei-Chieh Huang fought back with consecutive strikeouts to end the threat.
Cody Bolton entered for and recorded the save.
Pittsburgh moves to 4-9-2 on the season. Up next is another home game at LECOM Park, this one against the Atlanta Braves beginning at 1:05pm EDT. Mitch Keller is expected to start for the Bucs.
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