The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 14, 2014

Pirates slip past Phillies

Bradenton, Fla. — Jimmy Rollins was 0 for 4 in his return to Philadelphia’s lineup after a three-game benching and NL MVP Andrew McCutchen hit his third home run of spring training in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 6-5 win over the Phillies on Friday.

Rollins grounded out twice, took a called third strike and flied out.

A day earlier, Rollins said he thought manager Ryne Sandberg was upset about something, which caused the benching, but Sandberg said he had wanted to Freddy Galvis some at-bats with the season’s start a few weeks off.

Rollins declined comment after the game.

McCutchen went 2 for 3 to raise his batting average to .524 (12 for 22).

Travis Snider also had two hits for Pittsburgh, including a double.

Ryan Howard hit his first home run of the exhibition season, a leadoff drive in the sixth inning off rookie Jay Jackson. He has missed significant chunks of the last two seasons because of a variety of leg injuries.

Chase Utley drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia.

Jeff Manship, trying to earn a spot in the Phillies’ rotation, allowed two runs and six hits in four innings with no walks and three strikeouts.

Pirates starter Brandon Cumpton, likely to start the season at Triple-A Indianapolis, gave up two unearned runs in four innings.

Starting time

Phillies: Manship has compiled a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings after being signed as a minor league free agent. He went 0-5 with a 7.04 ERA last year in four starts and seven relief appearances.

“He just continues to pitch well,” Sandberg said. “He competes and gives us a chance to win. It was a quality outing against a good lineup.”

Pirates: Rookie right-hander Brandon Cumpton allowed two unearned runs in four innings. He also gave up two hits and one walk and struck out two.

“When you’re a ground-ball pitcher, you’re going to give up some unearned runs here and there but it all evens out over the course of a season,” he said.

Trainer’s room

Phillies: Hamels is scheduled for his second bullpen session in five days Sunday. He has yet to pitch in a game this spring training and had not thrown off in a mound for 11 days until Wednesday.

“I feel really good,” Hamels told reporters at the Phillies’ camp in Clearwater, “just the way I was able to kind of bounce back. It came out of nowhere a couple weeks ago. It was very unexpected because I was really working well and everything was showing great signs. My strength was gaining.”

Pirates: No injuries reported.

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