This one got out of hand quick as Jon Niese retired the first five batters he faced before the Jays strung four straight hits together off him. Four hits, a walk and another hit later and it was 4-0 Jays. It was a bit of bad luck for Niese on misplaced singles and a play that Jason Rogers could have made at third to end the inning before any damage occurred.
The Pirates actually had the first lead of this game on a Michael Morse RBI double in the bottom of the 1st to score Matt Joyce. They also added a run on a GIDP after back-to-back singles by Jordy Mercer and Elias Diaz. The Blue Jays broke the game wide open in the 6th as John Holdzkom struggled. He served up a home run to Justin Smoak and then gave up two more runs to make it 7-2. Holdzkom finished with just 0.2 of an inning, three earned runs allowed and one walk.
Some good news for the Bucs pitching was the pitching of Tony Watson and Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong worked two scoreless frames with two strikeouts and Watson did his usual thing in working a perfect inning.
Also, some of the hitting prospects some solid at-bats as Josh Bell had a two-RBI double in the 7th inning. Harold Ramirez went 2-for-2 and two runs scored and Willy Garcia had a double as well.
The excitement away from the diamond was Doc Emrick joining Greg Brown and John Wehner in the booth. Doc stayed for the entire game and told some stories of him growing up a Pirates fan. It was different and fun to have his perspective in the game and the difference between calling a fast-paced sport in hockey compared to baseball. Maybe this leaves the door open for him if someone is ever needed to step in for a game during the season?
The Pirates remain in Bradenton tomorrow as the Twins come to down with first pitch at 1:05PM. Francisco Liriano will make his spring debut.