Pirates hang on for 6-5 win

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Andrew McCutchen homered for the fifth time in seven games, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 Wednesday.

McCutchen’s solo drive was his third home run since he was moved to the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

Starling Marte hit a two-run homer, a drive against Darren O’Day that got a little help from the wind and landed over the wall in left-center. Gregory Polanco had a long solo shot off Miguel Gonzalez for his first home run of spring training.

Baltimore’s Paul Janish went 3 for 3, including a solo homer.

Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke, competing for a rotation spot, gave up three runs and six hits in five innings.

“There still are some things that need to be fine-tuned,” Locke said.

He is competing with Ryan Vogelsong and Juan Nicosia, who hasn’t allowed a run in five outings, for two open jobs in the starting rotation.


Orioles: Gonzalez allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

“There’s only two pitches I’d like to have back: the two homers,” he said. “Everything else was good.”

Gonzalez has a 12.56 ERA in five starts, giving up five homers.

“I’m staying positive, no matter what,” he said. “I’m not going to give in.”

Pirates: Locke put the leadoff batter on base in each of his five innings but was aided by double plays in three of them.

“He was very businesslike on the mound,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He left more balls up in the zone than he wanted to, but he still was very efficient. He got in on right-handers, broke bats, got 6-4-3 double plays.”

Right-hander Gerrit Cole threw four innings in a 68-pitch simulated game. A ribcage injury at the start of camp has put Cole about a week behind the other pitchers, but he expects to be ready for the first week of the season.


Orioles: LHP Brian Matusz took a cortisone injection on Sunday and might not be ready for opening day. … C Matt Wieters is moving closer to a return to the field. Wieters left a March 12 game with a sore right elbow and has not played in a big league exhibition since.

Pirates: RHP Jared Hughes has a strained left lat and is out indefinitely. Hughes (19.64 ERA in four outings) has not pitched in a game since March 16. … 3B Jung Ho Kang (broken leg) ran on a backfield but has not yet been cleared to make sharp cuts on the basepaths.


Pirates: LHP Jon Niese is to make start his third exhibition start. His last scheduled outing was rained out.