The Pittsburgh Pirates (7-13-3) and Vince Velasquez limped to the finish line in Sarasota against the Baltimore Orioles (11-10) as they got blown out 8-0.
The Orioles got their offense going early as former first overall pick Adley Rutschman, blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead.
The Orioles then took a commanding lead in the bottom of the second after another former first-round pick, Heston Kjerstad, blasted a three-run homer to center field. The Orioles led 5-0 and didn’t look back.
Something that has been plaguing the Pirates during spring training has been the outfield play, and Connor Joe fell victim to that during Sunday afternoon’s tilt.
Joe had a throwing error in the second inning, misplayed a fly ball in the fifth inning, allowing a double by Ryan Mountcastle, and then another misplay in the fifth on a double by Nomar Mazara.
As a result of those two misplayed balls, the Pirates were faced with an 8-0 deficit.
Velasquez struggled mightily against the Orioles Sunday afternoon.
Over 4+ innings pitched, Velasquez walked four batters and allowed seven hits, two of which were home runs, and seven earned runs.
On a brighter note for the Pirates, Roansy Contreras is back from the WBC and pitched three strong innings. Contreras gave up three hits, no earned runs, four strikeouts, and no walks.
The only other pitcher for the Pirates was Dauri Moreta, and he went one full inning. Moreta gave up two hits, one earned run, no walks, and struck out one.
The Pirates’ offense couldn’t get going against starter Kyle Gibson as he struck out seven through five innings pitched. The Pirates struck out 12 times as a team and managed only five hits.
The Pirates will head to Ft. Myers and face the Boston Red Sox. Luis Ortiz (0-1, 15.00 ERA) will face Garrett Whitlock (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.