PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Jameson Taillon made his first start in a Spring Training game at Lecom Park since 2013, throwing 4 innings, giving up a run and striking out two as the Pirates beat Baltimore 7-6.
“I thought I was nibbling a bit at times. I’d fall behind in the count and then I’d throw a competitive challenge pitch and I got some good results, some good ground balls,” Taillon said. “I think that builds confidence for me and I have good stuff and even when I get behind in the count, they can know a fastball is coming, but angle, deception, movement gets guys on the ground every time.”
Utility man Phil Gosselin hit a 2-out grand slam to right center in the fifth inning off Orioles reliever Zach Stewart.
“He challenged me with the fastball, put a good swing on it, I think the wind helped me out a little bit,” Gosselin said of his first grand slam and homer as a Pirate. “I knew it was going to be in the gap at least.”
As for the call on Root Sports by Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass on the homer that “the Goose is loose”, Gosselin said with a grin, “I’ve heard that before.”
First baseman Jose Osuna didn’t have an official at bat, but drove in a run and also scored a run. The 24 year-old is hitting .440 this Spring. “He’s an educated hitter, he’s a mature hitter,” said manager Clint Hurdle. “He’s a good hitter who has some power and more often than not, those types of hitters hit more homers when they get to the majors because pitches are around the plate more.”
Pedro Alvarez Returns
After signing a minor-league deal with the Orioles Monday, Pedro Alvarez was back in Bradenton and had a horrible-looking strikeout in his first at bat this Spring and also popped up against Taillon.
Alvarez is going to attempt to transition to the outfield, but was the designated hitter today and also struck out swinging against Antonio Bastardo. Alvarez was being heckled by an Orioles fan near first base and his first foul ball missed that fan by about 9 seats, to which someone in the crowd yelled “try again”.
Kuhl Pitched As Well
Likely Pirates fourth starter Chad Kuhl threw 4 scoreless innings against the Phillies Triple A team in Pirates City. “Four solid innings, a lot of ground balls, a couple of strikeouts, couple of early count outs,” Kuhl said. “It went really well.”
It was 57 degrees at first pitch in Bradenton today, still much warmer than back home as a few of those who were involved reacted.
Clint Hurdle said: “12 inches of wind is what I’m telling everyone back in Pittsburgh because I’ve been getting a lot of snapshots of snow and they’re talking about inches of snow. I said, ‘Hey, we’ve got 12 inches of wind. That’s funny. Then, I say I’m sorry.”
Jameson Taillon said: “I woke up and it was pretty chilly and once I got movin’ it was pretty good. I guess April in Boston and Pittsburgh, you have to get used to it.”
Chad Kuhl said: “It was actually really nice, today was awesome I didn’t sweat at all. It reminded me of home.”