Day 13: The winning streak continues. All right, so the losing pitcher was Richie Lentz, called up from the minor leagues like so many Boston Red Sox players yesterday because the club played two games a day earlier. Still, a victory is a victory, and the Pirates' 3-2, ninth-inning rally yesterday gave them back-to-back triumphs against the 2008 world champions and a perennial American League contender to start their spring-training schedule. Many in the 7,286 crowd at City of Palms Park booed when Pedro Alvarez started the three-run, one-out rally with a pinch-hit, run-scoring double and finished it by scoring the winning run, when Class AA shortstop Argenis Diaz erred on a Brian Bixler grounder.
Up next: Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves, McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m. Starter Tom Gorzelanny is scheduled to go two innings, followed by Zach Duke, Jason Davis, Dan McCutchen and others. Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami, for more than a decade a top pitcher in Japan, is scheduled to make his first U.S. start.
Camp roster: There are 57 Pirates competing in camp -- 28 pitchers, 6 catchers and 23 position players.
Injury update: Andy LaRoche started at third base and singled up the middle in his first at-bat. He added a putout in the field and a groundout at the plate, both in the fourth. Pitchers Virgil Vasquez (tenderness) and Brian Slocum (hamstring) are scheduled to pitch today in the bullpen.
Camp competition: Pitchers vs. Red Sox. Ian Snell yielded two unearned runs in the first inning on two walks. Snell then retired four of the next five, the final three by strikeout. Ross Ohlendorf struck out three of the six batters he faced next. Ohlendorf teamed with Jim Barthmaier, Denny Bautista, Sean Burnett, winner Tyler Yates (who yielded Boston's only other hit) and save-man Daniel Haigwood to retire 20 of 22 batters and only once go over the three-batter minimum in an inning.
Fun in the sun: Alvarez worked Lentz's count from 0-1 to 3-1, then sliced the next pitch -- a fastball outside -- into the left-field corner for a double and an RBI, scoring Pine-Richland's Neil Walker from third. Two batters later, Alvarez crossed with what became the winning run. Not bad after striking out on three breaking balls the day before in his inaugural pro at-bat, again as a pinch-batter for the DH.
Overheard: Alvarez offered: "It felt really good. Get that out of the way. I wasn't trying to put too much pressure on [myself]. It definitely felt good to come through and produce for the team. I was a little jittery [Wednesday against Philadelphia], I'm not going to say I wasn't. I'll take whatever I can right now. I'm not complaining. I knew that was going to be my role for right now, and I fit the role."
Meet me in St. Louis: 39 days until the opener.