Andrew McCutchen leads Pirates past Red Sox

Posted March 09, 2012, at 11:01 p.m.
Last modified March 10, 2012, at 12 a.m.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Andrew McCutchen had two RBI doubles and also singled in three at-bats to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4 in exhibition play Friday night.

McCutchen just missed two homers, doubling off the Green Monster replica in the third and fifth innings.

“I’ll take a double,” McCutchen said. “(The wall) gave me a couple hits. Anything that gives me hits, I’ll take it. I still got the job done. Still got some runs in. So, it worked. I know I got to hit it a little harder next time.”

McCutchen singled in the first.

“All the things we talked about him going to work on this spring, he’s taken care of,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s been more aggressive on the bases. He worked hard, even as quick and agile as he is, he spent a lot of time to improve that. He’s stronger. He put on a few pounds, but there’s more strength, he believes.”

Right-hander Clay Buchholz started for the Red Sox. He went three innings, allowing two runs on three hits, with a strikeout and also hit a batter. Buchholz was charged with the loss.

“I felt better physically, actually,” Buchholz said after his second spring outing. “Pitches felt like they came out a lot crisper. Made two mistakes — actually the second one wasn’t a mistake, just first-pitch changeup and he caught it. The first hit I gave up to (Clint) Barmes was a really good pitch, and he just did a good job of hitting. Left a pitch up to McCutchen his first at-bat.”

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was satisfied with Buchholz’s outing.

“Buchholz’s stuff looked sharper than last time, I thought,” Valentine said. “He threw a couple sharp curveballs. … He executed some pretty good pitches. I thought his changeup was sharp. He’s not throwing a lot of those curveballs, but he threw a couple of them tonight that were midseason form.”

Right-hander Vicente Padilla, competing for the fifth spot in Boston’s rotation followed Buchholz. Padilla went two innings, allowing four runs on five hits — all in his first inning.

Right-hander Shairon Martis started for the Pirates. He went two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out one en route to the victory.

“He’s in the mix (for the bullpen),” Hurdle said. “We wanted to stretch him out more, but that landscape changed when we acquired (A.J.) Burnett. We’re keeping him involved. We like the arm. Our scouts have been on him for a while. He kept the ball down, his pace was quick. He did paint himself into some corners with three-ball counts, but in all three he was able to come back and get the hitter.”

David Ortiz homered for Boston.

NOTES: Boston left fielder Carl Crawford, who had a setback in his rehab from mid-January surgery on his left wrist, is progressing, but manager Bobby Valentine said he isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the season. “I never try to have the calendar dictate the health of a player and I think Carl understands that,” Valentine said. “To tell you the truth, I’m not planning on him (for Opening Day). I think I said that, too, coming in, and then I might have changed my mind when he started hitting and throwing early. But I have to go back to the original.” … Boston left-hander Andrew Miller, scratched from Thursday’s game against the Cardinals because of elbow soreness, is expected to throw Saturday.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Orioles’ Reimold hit in head</span>

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold was taken to a hospital after he was hit in the left side of the head by a fastball from Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb in the first inning of a 3-3, 10-inning tie on Friday.

Reimold, batting fifth in the lineup, immediately dropped to the ground and was face-down for several minutes while a hushed crowd watched nervously as Orioles trainers tended him.

Also looking on was a visibly upset Cobb, who said in the Rays clubhouse, “It’s probably the worst feeling you can have as a pitcher.”

Reimold eventually walked to a cart, which took him off the field. CT scans came back negative, although he does have a loose tooth.

Cobb pitched three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and two walks in his first start of the spring.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Cardinals 3, Twins 2</span>

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Adam Wainwright pitched two scoreless innings in his first start in over a year, leading St. Louis over Minnesota.

Wainwright missed all of last season after having elbow ligament replacement surgery and hadn’t pitched since Sept. 24, 2010. He walked one and struck out two Friday.

Wainwright’s return for the Cardinals was offset by some potentially troubling news: ace Chris Carpenter left Friday’s practice session with a sore neck. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Carpenter as day to day.

Jason Marquis made his second spring start for Minnesota since signing in the offseason and gave up three hits and a run over three innings.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>A’s 6, Rockies 4</span>

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Juan Nicasio took another big step in his remarkable comeback from a broken neck when he threw three impressive innings in Colorado’s loss to Oakland.

This was his first start since Aug. 5, when Washington’s Ian Desmond scorched a line drive that struck the stocky right-hander in his right temple, fracturing his skill. The fall broke his neck.

Eight months later, Nicasio is trying to earn a spot in the Rockies’ rotation, and the club was eager to see if he’d be shy, recoiling or cutting off his follow through to protect himself.

He showed none of that, not even after Eric Sogard sent a comebacker right past him for a single in the first inning.

Nicasio gave up an unearned run on five singles.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Giants 6, Reds 3</span>

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, two key Giants who missed most of last season because of injuries, returned to action in San Francisco’s victory over Cincinnati.

Posey, the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, was behind the plate for the first two innings and he hit a flyout in his only at-bat. Sanchez, who played the entire game at designated hitter, went 1 for 4.

Posey played for the first time since May 25, 2011, when he tore ligaments in his left ankle in a home-plate collision. Sanchez hadn’t played since he dislocated his right shoulder on June 10.

Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera hit a two-run homer, his third of the spring. Brandon Belt also homered.

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman started for the Reds and pitched two perfect innings, striking out two. Todd Frazier homered for the Reds.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Reds 5, Royals 1</span>

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Scott Rolen singled in a run to help a Cincinnati split squad beat Kansas City.

Rolen’s health is a key for Cincinnati after the veteran third baseman played in only 65 games for the Reds last season. He had surgery on his left shoulder in July.

Rolen has five hits in nine at-bats this spring and appears to be mobile in the field.

Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, in his first spring start, struck out five of the six batters he faced, including Rolen.

Reds starter Homer Bailey, the leading candidate to be the fifth starter, allowed a hit and a walk in three scoreless innings.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Blue Jays 11, Astros 2</span>

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — David Cooper drove in three runs with a single and a double and reliever Luis Perez struck out four in two innings as Toronto beat Houston.

Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion and Travis d’Arnaud drove in two runs each for the Blue Jays. d’Arnaud and Adeiny Hechavarria homered in a five-run inning off Aneury Rodriguez.

Henderson Alvarez, bidding for a spot in Toronto’s rotation, pitched two innings in his second spring start, giving up a run on one hit. He struck out three.

Houston starter J.A. Happ gave up three runs on five hits and three walks in 2 2-3 innings.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Mets 5, Braves 3</span>

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Dillon Gee allowed two runs and five hits in three innings for New York Mets in a win over an Atlanta split squad.

The projected No. 5 starter for New York struck out two and walked none as he concentrated on throwing his cut fastball to the Braves’ lefty-heavy lineup.

Chipper Jones returned to the Braves’ lineup after missing the last five games with stiffness in his thighs. Jones went 0 for 2 with a walk but looked good defensively and reported no problems physically.

Atlanta starter Randall Delgado pitched three innings, allowing two runs and three hits.

Ronny Cedeno put the Mets up early with a two-run single, and Matt Den Dekker broke a 3-all tie with a two-run double in the eighth inning.

Atlanta’s Martin Prado had two doubles among his three hits.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Yankees 3, Braves 0</span>

TAMPA, Fla. — Hoping to earn a spot in Atlanta’s rotation, Julio Teheran allowed one run and three hits over three innings as a Braves split squad lost to the New York Yankees.

The 21 year old struck out three, including Robinson Cano, and walked one in his second spring training start.

Teheran was tagged for six home runs in just two innings last Sunday when the Braves were beat 18-3 by the Detroit Tigers.

Freddy Garcia gave up one hit over three innings for the Yankees. The right-hander had two strikeouts and one walk.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Phillies 7, Tigers 5</span>

LAKELAND, Fla. — Roy Halladay gave up two homers to non-roster invitee Eric Patterson and allowed three runs overall in three innings but Philadelphia beat Detroit.

Halladay wasn’t concerned his ERA was 7.20 in two starts this spring. He said he was tweaking some of his pitches.

Patterson was 4 for 5 with four RBIs and is hitting .625 this spring. He hit .180 in 47 games for San Diego last season. Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run homer for the Phillies.

Max Scherzer allowed one hit and no runs in 3 1-3 innings for the Tigers, his longest outing of spring training so far.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Cubs 5, White Sox 1</span>

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Travis Wood boosted his chances of earning a spot in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation, allowing one run while pitching into the third inning of a win over the White Sox.

Woods was lifted with one out in the third and the bases loaded but Randy entered and got Paul Konerko to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

Projected White Sox starter Chris Sale gave up three runs in three innings, including Edgar Gonzalez’ two-run homer.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Brewers 12, Indians 2</span>

PHOENIX — Randy Wolf and five Milwaukee relievers held Cleveland to three hits and the Brewers hit four home runs in a win.

Cristian Guzman lined a single to center with two outs in the seventh off Manny Parra for Cleveland’s first hit. Felix Pie had a bloop double in the eighth and Andy LaRoche hit a two-run double in the ninth.

Mat Gamel hit a two-run homer, while Nyjer Morgan, Brooks Conrad and Jonathan Lucroy had solo shots for Milwaukee, which totaled 16 hits.

Cleveland starter Derek Lowe gave up three runs on four hits over three innings. He also walked three.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Padres 6, Angels 3</span>

TEMPE, Ariz. — Jaff Dacker and Matt Clark each hit a solo homer during a three-run seventh inning to lead San Diego Padres to a win over Los Angeles in front of 9,562 fans — the Angels’ first home sellout of the spring.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols had two hits in two at-bats with a sacrifice fly and an RBI. He narrowly missed a homer to left-center field in the sixth and settled for a double.

Padres left-hander Clayton Richard made his first appearance on the mound since last July 4 and allowed two hits and a run in two innings.

<span class=”Sports_10tb”>Dodgers 9, Rangers 0</span>

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Clayton Kershaw allowed three hits over three innings in his spring debut and Matt Kemp homered for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a win over Texas.

Juan Rivera and Alex Castellanos also homered for the Dodgers.

Kemp was 2 for 2 with two RBIs and Andre Ethier tripled, scored and drove in a run.

Kershaw, last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, threw 28 of his 42 pitches for strikes.

Rangers starter Martin Perez allowed two runs and three hits with three walks in two innings.

In the sixth inning, Rangers right fielder Conor Jackson lost a fly ball in the sun. The ball bounced off his glove and then his forehead. Jackson received five stitches above his left eye.

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