Pirates notebook: Vogelsong OK with getting mistakes out of the way
March 10, 2016 12:00 AM
Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong delivers against the Red Sox at McKechnie Field.
By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BRADENTON, Fla. — Ryan Vogelsong’s second start of spring training wasn’t as smooth as his first — a scoreless, hitless two innings last week against the Toronto Blue Jays — but the veteran right-hander didn’t mind making a few mistakes at this stage of camp.
“You don’t want to not pitch well,” Vogelsong said, ”but you need to battle every once in a while, I’d rather have it now and get it out of the way than have it a start before the season starts. I wasn’t as crisp as I wanted to be, but I got a chance to grind through some innings.”
Vogelsong gave up four hits, two walks and three runs in three innings in a 6-2 Boston Red Sox win.
Travis Shaw lifted a wind-aided, two-run homer to left off Vogelsong in the first, and Blake Swihart’s second double of the game put the Red Sox up 3-1 in the third. At that point, after walking two men to load the bases, Vogelsong buckled down, inducing a quick pop fly and shattered-bat grounder to end the inning.
“Not 100 percent what I was looking to do today,” Vogelsong said. “But you need these days, too.”
Infielder Jung Ho Kang’s goal for the week, Tomczyk said, is to get on the infield dirt in his cleats and do straight-line running. Kang is recovering from the major knee surgery he had in September.
Rehabbing left-handers Jesse Biddle (elbow) and Robert Zarate (elbow) have begun throwing on flat ground. Right-hander Nick Kingham, who had Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery in October, threw off a slope Wednesday to slowly start his long road back.
Left-hander Cory Luebke threw a simulated game, Tomczyk said, and early indications were positive. He is nearing the point where he can make his spring debut in Grapefruit League action.
Outfielder Antoan Richardson (foot) will begin running the bases at full speed today.
Records: Red Sox (5-3), Pirates (2-6-1).
Starter: Ryan Vogelsong — 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 HR.
Hitter: Starling Marte — 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 SB.
Of note: There were a couple changes in the broadcast booths at McKechnie Field. Back in town was play-by-play announcer Tim Neverett, who spent seven seasons with the Pirates before taking a job this offseason with Red Sox’s flagship radio station WEEI-FM 93.7. And in the Root Sports booth with Greg Brown and Steve Blass was Doc Emrick, the Hall of Fame hockey announcer who is a huge Pirates fan.
News of the day: Roll out the red carpet. Right-hander Gerrit Cole, whose Grapefruit League debut had been delayed by a ribcage injury, is scheduled to make his first spring start Sunday when the Detroit Tigers visit McKechnie Field.
Manager Clint Hurdle said Cole is expected to throw two innings against the Tigers.
Cole, 25, was 19-8 with a 2.60 in a career-high 208 innings last season. He made his first All-Star Game and finished fourth in National League Cy Young award voting. His previous outing was in the National League wild-card game, when he allowed four runs in five innings.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: email@example.com and on Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.
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