Archer feeling good in Pirates’ camp

By Mark Didtler

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Chris Archer had success against the high-powered New York Yankees and more importantly felt great afterwards.

Archer allowed just two hits and struck out four over three scoreless innings in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 6-5 loss on Sunday. Even more importantly, no walks either.

The right-hander, who underwent surgery to repair a hernia in November, faced a lineup that included Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki, Gleyber Torres, Brett Gardner and Greg Bird.

“The biggest thing for me is health,” Archer said. “Whenever I don’t have to be tentative, I don’t have to be passive because there’s an ailment, I’m happy.”

Gardner and Stanton had first-inning singles before Archer retired his final seven batters.

“Facing those guys, you get really good feedback,” Archer said. “But the process of executing the pitches, that’s all I was focused on.”

Archer had four strikeouts over two hitless innings in his first spring training start in Tuesday’s 10-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

The 30-year-old will start the Pirates’ home opener April 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pittsburgh acquired Archer from Tampa Bay in a July trade that sent outfielder Austin Meadows and pitcher Tyler Glasnow to the Rays.

Archer went 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts for the Pirates, including a 2-1 mark with a 2.70 ERA in September.

More openings

Jameson Taillon, the Pirates’ opening-day starter March 28 at Cincinnati, is scheduled to make his first spring training start Tuesday against Minnesota. Pittsburgh has extensively used simulated games as part of the preparation process for pitchers. Taillon went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts last season.

Update on Diaz

C Elias Diaz, who had been away from the team for 21/2 weeks because of an undisclosed virus, is back at camp. He will not be ready for opening day. “We’re happy to have him back,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It was a perfect time for him to come back and start his road to play. We’ve set up a plan, we’ll follow the plan. We don’t have a timetable right now.”

Kang homers again

despite Bucs’ loss

TAMPA, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Pirates fell to 7-9-1 in Grapefruit League action on Sunday, falling 6-5 to the New York Yankees when the bullpen gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Relief pitcher Jesus Liranzo was charted with two earned runs on three hits in getting the loss. Starter Chris Archer had a solid outing for the Bucs, working three shutout innings, giving up two hits with four strikeouts and no walks. However, Francisco Liriano faced just four batters — all walks — and gave up three earned runs.

Jung Ho Kang hit his fourth home run of the spring for Pittsburgh. Teammate Francisco Cervelli also homered for the Pirates. Cole Tucker played four innings at shortstop for Pittsburgh, finishing 1-for-2 with at triple. He has gone 7-for-10 this spring.

The Pirates play Atlanta today at 1:05 p.m. Nick Kingham, who is trying to win the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, will get the nod. Steven Brault and Dovydas Neverauskas are also scheduled to pitch.

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