Monday, March 30, 2015

Mid 5: Pirates 6, Phillies 0 -- and a brawl

UPDATE: Basebrawl!

Pirates utility playerr Sean Rodriguez wasn't happy about something. Neither was Phillies third base coach Juan Samuel. So the benches cleared, the bullpens emptied and not a punch was thrown -- as is typically the case. Samuel did get ejected, though, and a handful of Philadelphia players seemed like they were nearly about to get into something with Rodriguez until Pittsburgh catcher Franciscoo Cervelli held his teammate back.

Still, it was a spring training brawl. That's about all you can ask for.

BRADENTON -- The Pirates are putting on a show in their final game at McKechnie Field this year, launching home runs off poor Zach Eflin and holding the Phillies' offense in check.

Utility man Josh Harrison was Pittsburgh's first batter of the game and kicked off the home run derby with an opposite-field blast. Two innings later, Eflin's defense betrayed him and the Pirates busted the game open.

Catcher Francisco Cervelli reached on an error too start the inning and, after Eflin got two outs, outfielder Gregory Polanco singled in Cervelli. Outfielder Starling Marte, the next batter, followed that with a home run to left that put Pittsburgh up 4-0.

Another error in the fourth inning gave the Pirates a lead-off baserunner before catcher Tony Sanchez's team-leading fourth Grapefruit League home run pushed the lead to 6-0.

Meanwhile, four Pirate relievers have combined for five shutout innings. Closer Mark Melancon got the start, followed by Tony Watson and Arquimedes Caminero for an inning each and Rob Scahill for two.

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