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Vince Velasquez Pitches Well But Pirates Fall to Orioles 7-4

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Pittsburgh Pirates

Vince Velasquez got the start on Wednesday for the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitched well but the Bucs were defeated by the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 in Sarasota.

Velasquez gave the Pirates three scoreless frames to begin the ballgame in what was his second start of the spring. He allowed only one hit, didn’t walk a batter and punched out three. The righty has only given up one run in 5.0 innings of work so far.

The Pirates (3-7-2)  jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Connor Joe doubled home Cal Mitchell, who singled. Mitchell had a pair of hits on the afternoon, raising his average to .333 (6 for 18).

Oneil Cruz drove in his third run of spring training with an RBI-base hit in the seventh. He went 1 for 4 in the ballgame.

There was an interesting play in the eighth when Canaan Smith-Njigba hit a home run, but since he passed Travis Swaggerty on the bases after there was some confusion, he was awarded a two-run single.

Chris Owings continued his strong spring by collecting another base hit and drawing a walk in three trips to the plate. He’s now slashing .273/.467/.636.

The Orioles took the lead back from the Pirates in the home half of the frame when Austin Hays hit a three-run home run off of reliever Colin Holderman.

The following inning, left-hander Jose Hernandez yielded a grand slam to Orioles’ first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, putting Baltimore ahead 7-1.

Dauri Moreta tossed another inning of scoreless relief. He has yet to allow a run and has struck out five through his first three appearances. Pitching prospect Quinn Priester pitched a scoreless eighth.

Defensively, Miguel Andújar robbed Jorge Mateo of a home run in right field.

The Pirates will be back at LECOM Park on Thursday when they square off with the Detroit Tigers at 1:05. Rich Hill is expected to be the Pirates’ starter.

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