Luebke hoping for bullpen spot
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Trevor Plouffe had two hits and two RBIs as the Minnesota Twins beat a Pittsburgh Pirates split squad 3-0 on Saturday.
Pittsburgh’s Kyle Lobstein went four innings, giving up two runs on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Plouffe’s two-run single in the fourth inning scored Brian Dozier, who opened the inning with a single, and Miguel Sano, who hit a one-out double. Plouffe has a team-high 14 RBIs this spring in 14 games.
Pittsburgh’s Cory Luebke pitched one scoreless inning, allowing one hit. A first-round pick in 2007 by the Padres, the left-hander has not pitched in the majors since 2012 because of injuries, including two Tommy John surgeries. He is competing for a spot in the Pirates’ bullpen, a role he last held in 2011.
“I enjoy it,” Luebke said. “Starting, obviously everybody likes the routine and the schedule. But the adrenaline that comes with throwing out if the pen, hearing the phone ringing and having to get going, it’s fun. It takes you back to when you were younger and all that matters was, hey, you’re in.”
Lobstein also is competing for a spot in the Pittsburgh bullpen. This was his fifth appearance and third start this spring. The two runs he allowed are the first he’s given up in 11 total innings on seven hits, three walks and eight strikeouts.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen was scratched from Friday’s game against the Red Sox in Fort Myers because of tightness in his left quad. He played for the Pirates in a split-squad game Saturday night against the Rays and went 0-for-3. … First baseman Michael Morse tweaked his right hamstring in Thursday’s game but said it was nothing serious.
BRADENTON, Fla. – Jake Odorizzi pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Steven Souza Jr. hit a two-run double to help the Tampa Bay Rays beat a Pittsburgh Pirates split squad 3-1.
Pirates left fielder Starling Marte exited in the fourth inning due to tightness in his right quadriceps. Marte stumbled out of the batter’s box in the second.
David Freese homered to left-center, his second home run in seven games since signing with the Pirates.
Francisco Liriano lasted only 4 innings even though he was scheduled to work six. The left-hander, scheduled to start on opening day for Pittsburgh, gave up three runs and seven hits while striking out four.