PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – It’s been a couple of brutal outings for Pirates relievers as the Bucs lost to the Phillies 15-12 Friday in Clearwater.

Wilfredo Boscan lasted only a third of an inning in the 4th giving up eight earned runs, his spring ERA is now 21.60. Reliever Trey Haley, signed to the 40-man roster in the off-season, lasted two-thirds of an inning giving up six runs including a grand slam to Ryan Howard that carried over the centerfield wall and out of the ballpark.

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“Poor guy behind me, he drank two beers in the 4th inning,” Hurdle said of the length of game and getting non-roster players in for the last few innings. “He spent $20 on beer in the 4th inning and then the rest of the game (he’s complaining).”

Cole-Lobstein Switched

Gerrit Cole was scheduled to start for the Pirates but was pulled to throw in a minor-league game at Pirates City as Hurdle said they wanted to see what Kyle Lobstein could do against Major Leaguers. Hurdle told Lobstein last minute to see his reaction and was impressed with how matter-of-fact he was about the change.

Lobstein, a lefty, went 3 scoreless innings giving up one hit and struck out two and now has gone 7 innings this spring without a run allowed.

“It was good to get 3 innings today,” Lobstein said. “The up-downs are always what make the difference, not necessarily the amount of pitches. It’s sitting down and waiting and getting loose again and pitch an entire inning. Hopefully, I will still build up next time out and go from there.”

Hurdle confirmed Gerrit Cole threw 50 pitches in 3 innings in the minor-league game at Pirate City. The Tribune-Review reports Cole gave up two hits, a run and struck out three while hitting 98mph on the radar gun. Jung-Ho Kang also did some base-running outside of game action and took at bats, without running out the contact.

Middle Infielders

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Fighting for a roster spot on the day when several Pirates middle-infield prospects were sent down, Pedro Florimon responded with a 2-run homer off Charlie Morton. The 29-year-old Florimon hit .087 in 23 at bats with the Pirates last year and has a career-high .221 average with Minnesota in 2013.

Hurdle said of the infield prospects sent down, “I do think we have developed another core group there, another wave of guys who can come up. We sent probably one of our most gifted groups of players out this early in camp that we’ve ever had since I’ve been here. As far as guys that got skills and can compete and very well can help us over the course of a season.”

Joyce Gets Chance

Coming into Friday, Matt Joyce had only 3 singles in 18 at bats with the Bucs this spring. The veteran outfielder doubled and homered off Charlie Morton driving in his first runs. Joyce had 18 homers with Tampa Bay in 2013.

Morton Gets Win

Facing his former team, Morton gave up four hits, walked three, leading to five earned runs (including two homers) and still got his first victory this Spring. Morton’s Spring ERA is 8.53.

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