The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 5, 2013

Sanchez carries Pirates past Spain in exhibition

BRADENTON, Fla. — It was ironic that Ivan DeJesus Jr. was the Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting shortstop Tuesday when they routed Spain’s World Baseball Classic team 10-0.

DeJesus was very conflicted before deciding to drop off Puerto Rico’s WBC roster last week so he could remain in the Pirates’ spring training camp and try to win a bench job.

“It’s tough, especially with the first round being in my home country,” DeJesus said, referring to Puerto Rico facing Spain in its first game of first-round pool play on Friday night in San Juan. “I really wanted to play in the WBC but ultimately had to decide what was best for my career. I’m in a new organization and I just think it’s better I stay here than maybe be away for three weeks. I don’t think I would have had any chance to make the team if I left spring training.”

So DeJesus, who went 1-for-3, remains in camp and is in what appears to be a six-man competition for two utility infielder spots with Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, Chase d’Arnaud, Brandon Inge and Anderson Hernandez.

DeJesus was one of four players the Pirates acquired from the Boston Red Sox on Dec. 26 in a trade for closer Joel Hanrahan. DeJesus had been traded to the Red Sox from the Dodgers in October as a player to be named in the August deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from Boston to Los Angeles.

“Boston had already taken me off the 40-man roster but I didn’t think they were going to trade me, so it was a real surprise,” DeJesus said. “I wasn’t expecting it but it’s the best thing that could have happened to me. The Pirates have given me an opportunity to play this spring and show them what I can do and I feel very welcome here.”

Gaby Sanchez, likely the only player in the lineup who will be on the opening day roster, went 3-for-3 with a double, home run and two RBIs. The right-handed hitting Sanchez is expected to platoon at first base with Garrett Jones this season but played third base against Spain.

Hernandez also homered.

Gerrit Cole, the first overall selection in the 2011 amateur draft, started and struck out six in three innings as he combined with four relievers on a five-hitter. He allowed two hits and one walk.

“The big thing for me right now is trying to get my mechanics nailed in the bullpen (during pre-game warmups) then taking that over into the game,” Cole said. “I felt I did that today. I felt really good out there.”

Rhiner Cruz, a Houston Astros reliever and one of just two players with major-league experience on the Spanish roster, took the loss as he allowed three runs in one inning.

Spain’s roster consists almost exclusively of players from Latin American and the United States who are of Spanish origin and the only other one besides Cruz with major-league experience is first baseman Barbaro Canizares.

Cruz made his debut with the Houston Astros last season and was 1-1 with a 6.05 ERA in 52 games. Canizares played in five games for the Atlanta Braves in 2009.

Spain upset Israel in a qualifying tournament in September at Jupiter, Fla., and now is in a difficult pool that also includes the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. However, the Spaniards, who play the Baltimore Orioles today in Sarasota, are hoping to create a little buzz for baseball in a soccer-mad nation.

“We needed to play a team like this because this is the kind of competition we are going to be facing in San Juan,” said right-handed reliever Eric Gonzalez, who pitched for Lake Erie in the independent Frontier League last season and is the lone Spanish national on the team as he is a native of the Canary Islands. “We didn’t play that well today but it was a good test for us and we can learn from it.”

Note: Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens (biceps tendinitis) threw live batting practice before Tuesday’s game and reported no discomfort. Karstens’ next step is to pitch a simulated game this week.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Cleveland Browns receiver Gordon to meet with league Aug. 1

    A person with knowledge of the meeting tells The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will have a hearing with NFL officials in New York on Aug. 1.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pirates 0723 Early outburst carries Pirates past Dodgers

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers 0723 After makeover, Steelers ready for resurgence

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers Patriots Front.JPG Gronkowski cleared to play at Patriots training camp

    Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play at the New England Patriots training camp.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dodgers Pirates Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
    Polanco, hitting just .133 in his previous 11 games, smacked a bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth to put Pittsburgh in front for good.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy 0720 McIlroy holds on to win British Open

    Walking off the 18th green as the British Open champion, Rory McIlroy kept gazing at all the greats on golf’s oldest trophy.
    On the claret jug, his name is etched in silver below Phil Mickelson.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0719 Pirates take second straight over Rockies, win in 11th inning

    Jordy Mercer doubled home Neil Walker with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
    Walker led off the inning with a single against Colorado’s Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored one batter later when Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • out at home Eighth-inning rally carries Pirates to victory over Rockies

    Travis Snider’s pinch-hit double in the eighth scored Neil Walker to spark the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
    Walker trotted home when Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t track down Snider’s sinking line drive off reliever Matt Belisle (2-5). All-Star Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly one batter later.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads