BRADENTON, Fla. (93-7 The Fan) — Too many walks and not enough hits were the two problems for the Pirates as they dropped a 5-0 decision to the Phillies at McKechnie Field.
A.J. Burnett had a solid first inning, allowing a single to Michael Young then getting Chase Utley on a weak grounder to second and Ryan Howard on the pop fly to left but the second inning was a different story.
The Phillies loaded the base with one out on a hits batsman and two singles, and then Burnett walked in two runs. After Young singled to make it 3-0, Manager Clint Hurdle took him out.
“Skip said, ‘hey at least you’re pitching this spring’ which is a good point so that made me laugh a bit,’” Burnett said.
He missed the Grapefruit League season ago after fouling a bunt breaking and orbital bone.
“This is one of those outings in spring training when you walk away and say he got his work in and move on,” Hurdle said.
Lefthander Kris Johnson, trying to win a spot, had to deal with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. He walked Utley for another run but struck out Howard to ease some of anxiety.
“A little knee shaking at first,” Johnson said, “but once you get that initial shock out of the way it’s fine.”
Wandy Rodriguez allowed an unearned run on two hits in his three innings then left for Puerto Rico where he’ll join Team Dominican for the World Baseball Classic.
As for the Pirates offense, there was none. Travis Snider’s ground rule double was the only Pittsburgh hit.
Most of the players have Tuesday off when the Pirates play Team Spain, but Gerrit Cole will be the starting pitcher so still worth coming to the ballpark.
Pitcher Jeff Karstens takes another step back from his biceps soreness when he throws live BP at Pirate City.
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