Recaps from Feb. 26 action in the Grapefruit League. Orioles vs. Pirates (rained out)
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates are giving two youngsters a fair shot at winning the fifth starter spot in their rotation.
Left-hander Jeff Locke and right-hander Kyle McPherson were impressive in their first outings of spring training. Neither got a chance to pitch Tuesday because the Pirates’ game against the Baltimore Orioles was rained out. There was no initial indication if there would be a makeup.
The rain gave Pirates catcher Russell Martin a chance to rest. He was scratched from the lineup earlier Tuesday, and he will also sit out Wednesday because of minor soreness in his right shoulder. Martin said it was normal pain for a catcher.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman was pushed back to start Wednesday against the Red Sox.
Phillies 4, Yankees 3
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Domonic Brown and Tommy Joseph hit long home runs in the seventh inning and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied past the New York Yankees 4-3 Tuesday for their first win of the exhibition season.
Brown connected off Zach Nuding, sending his second home run this spring over the batter’s eye in center field. Brown is competing for the left field vacancy.
Joseph, a catcher considered by some as the Phillies’ current top hitting prospect, sent a two-run drive deep over the left-field fence. He was acquired from San Francisco last summer in the trade for Hunter Pence.
Ichiro Suzuki went 3 for 3 to lead the Yankees. He legged out an infield single, stole second and scored on Mark Teixeira’s double in the first inning off Kyle Kendrick.
Marlins 7, Mets 5
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton hit his first homer of spring training Tuesday to help the Miami Marlins beat the New York Mets 7-5.
Stanton, who led the NL in slugging last year and had 37 home runs, homered off Hansel Robles. Matt Downs also homered off Robles.
Casey Kotchman hit a grand slam in his first at-bat of spring training against Mets starter Jenrry Mejia, who needed 30 pitches to get through his one inning and allowed five runs.
Kotchman had been sidelined for the past week after he ran into a pop-up machine during drills and needed four stitches to close a cut on his left ring finger.
Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins’ likely opening day starter, pitched two scoreless innings in his first outing of spring training.
Rays 7, Astros 2 (6) (ss)
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — AL Cy Young winner David Price pitched one scoreless inning and Evan Longoria tested his surgically-repaired hamstring on the basepaths and had an RBI single Tuesday during Tampa Bay’s rain-shortened 7-2 victory over a Houston Astros split-squad.
Price allowed a hit and walked one in a 19-pitch outing. Longoria singled and was thrown out trying to score from second in the first inning, then had another hit before scoring on Leslie Anderson’s two-run, second-inning triple off Astros starter Jordan Lyles.
Meanwhile, Price escaped injury when Marwin Gonzalez’s grounder glanced off his pitching wrist before shortstop Ben Zobrist fielded the ball and threw to first for the out.
The game was stopped by rain with the Rays batting in the bottom of the sixth.
Twins 8, Blue Jays 4
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Justin Morneau had two hits, including a run-scoring double, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-4 on Tuesday.
Morneau and teammate Joe Mauer, both taking part in next month’s World Baseball Classic, made the 2 1-2 hour trip from Fort Myers.
Mauer singled and walked twice. He scored on Morneau’s third-inning RBI double.
Morneau, who will be playing for Canada in the WBC, received a nice cheer when named during the announcement of pregame lineups. The first baseman hit a three-run double in Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Pittsburgh on Monday.
Both starting pitchers, Toronto’s Ricky Romero and the Twins’ Mike Pelfrey lasted just 1 2-3 innings in their spring training debuts.
Astros 9, Tigers 4 (ss)
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Jason Castro and Brett Wallace each homered for a Houston Astros split squad Tuesday in a 9-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Wallace had three hits for the Astros. Castro and Rick Ankiel had two hits apiece for Houston.
Robbie Grossman and Trevor Crowe drove in four runs on back-to-back extra base hits in Houston’s five-run fifth inning against Duane Below.
Brayan Pena’s two-run homer off John Ely gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Erik Bedard pitched two innings in his first start for the Astros, giving up an unearned run on Wallace’s throwing error.
Doug Fister gave up the two-run home run to Castro in his two-inning start for Detroit.
Bruce Rondon, the Tigers hard-throwing rookie closer candidate, walked two and struck out two before being taken out of the game in the third.
Braves 9, Nationals 5
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Washington’s Ross Detwiler got in some much-needed work before the World Baseball Classic, while the Atlanta Braves scored five runs in the fifth on the way to a 9-5 win over their division rival Tuesday.
Detwiler pitched two scoreless innings before failing to get out of the third, allowing two runs. The left-hander gave up five hits and walked two in a game delayed an hour by rain.
The Braves erased a 3-2 deficit against loser Ryan Perry, who allowed Jordan Parraz’s homer and run-scoring singles to Ernesto Mejia and Juan Francisco. Brandon Mann walked Ramiro Pena with the bases loaded before Joey Terdoslavich closed the big inning with a sacrifice fly.
Atlanta starter Mike Minor gave up two runs in two innings. David Carpenter claimed the win.
Cardinals 15, Red Sox 4
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia returned to the mound for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the playoffs, getting through two scoreless innings Tuesday as St. Louis beat the Boston Red Sox 15-4.
Garcia was pulled early in the NL division series against Washington with a strained rotator cuff and inflammation.
Garcia kept the Red Sox scoreless, working around three hits and a walk. He threw 43 pitches, 30 for strikes, and struck out two.
Ryan Dempster, who joined the Red Sox as a free agent during the offseason, pitched two hitless innings. He threw 33 pitches, 24 for strikes, and fanned two.
Matt Adams, who had been slowed by tendinitis in his knee, had a two-run, pinch-hit homer for the Cardinals. He later drew a bases-loaded walk.