Spring Synopsis: Ohlendorf sparkles in win

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The game: Ross Ohlendorf, in his first start since being named to the Pirates' rotation, pitched 5 1/3 strong innings to help beat the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2, this afternoon at McKechnie Field.

The Pirates had only three hits entering the ninth, but RBI singles by Jeff Salazar and Jason Jaramillo after two outs brought the victory. Salazar has a team-high 14 RBIs.

Ohlendorf was charged with one richly undeserved run, that coming in the sixth after center fielder Nate McLouth lost Laynce Nix's popup in the sun for a "Bradenton double," as such hits are known here. Denny Bautista relieved and gave up Adam Rosales' RBI double as the Reds pulled even at 1-1.

Ohlendorf allowed three hits, with three strikeouts and two walks, as his ERA actually jumped to 0.87.

"I definitely wanted to pitch well again," Ohlendorf said. "I wanted to make their decision to put me in the rotation look good."

The Pirates are 16-12-2 in Grapefruit League play.

Other news: Free-agent reliever Will Ohman last night agreed to terms on a one-year-plus option, minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pirates had offered a major league contract with an option nine days ago, but Ohman's preference for playing on the West Coast apparently superseded that.

The Pirates acquired minor league left-handed reliever Shawn Nottingham from the Cleveland Indians for a minor league player to be named.

Nottingham, 24, had a 7.09 ERA in 19 appearances for Class AA Akron, a 4.58 ERA in 14 appearances for Class A Carolina.

He will be assigned to minor league camp.

Injury update: Shortstop Jack Wilson (bruised left knee) returned after missing two games.

Starter Phil Dumatrait (shoulder) has resumed pitching, but general manager Neal Huntington confirmed he will open the season on the 15-day disabled list, adding that Dumatrait is "four to six weeks away" from being able to pitch for the Pirates.

Today: Jeff Karstens, still vying for a rotation spot, will start against the Minnesota Twins' Nick Blackburn, 1:05 p.m. in Fort Myers.

Camp roster: 35, with 18 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and six outfielders.

Fun in the sun: It has been no fun at all for an increasing number of players and staff bugged by a stomach flu making the rounds in the clubhouse, from third baseman Andy LaRoche to reliever Evan Meek to athletic trainer Brad Henderson.

"We've got some people sick as can be," Huntington said. "Hopefully, it passes quickly."

Meek already has missed a week to a sore shoulder and was expected to return yesterday but was scratched. This will not help his chance of making the bullpen.

Inside pitch: Adam Wainwright will throw the first pitch of the Pirates' season. He will be St. Louis' starter for the opener Monday. The rest of the Cardinals' starters for the series, in order: Kyle Lohse, Todd Wellemeyer and Chris Carpenter. All are right-handers.

Meet me in St. Louis: Seven days until the opener.


Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Catch more on the Pirates at the PG's PBC Blog .


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