The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

February 28, 2013

Pirates sloppy in loss to Rays

BRADENTON, Fla. — Kelly Johnson had a new vantage point for the Tampa Bay Rays’ 8-2 victory Wednesday over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Johnson started in left field for the Rays, his first game in the outfield since he was a rookie in 2005 with Atlanta. He didn’t get to catch any flyballs, although he had to chase down a double by Pedro Alvarez that flew over his head.

“I felt all right out there,” Johnson said. “I didn’t feel too much like a fish out of water or anything. It’s different, I’ll say that. It definitely breaks up the routine to go out there and see things from a different angle.”

After spending the past six seasons at second base, Johnson has to alter the way he goes after balls in the outfield.

“I’ve got to temper my aggressiveness,” he said. “It’s easy in the infield. The ball gets to you quicker and you’ve got to get ready just a little earlier to react. If you do that in the outfield, a lot of times you’ll run yourself into a bad route. I had to fight that urge and relax a little bit. I had to sit a half-second longer to see the ball and then react.”

Johnson should get ample playing time this season as a super utility player at second base, shortstop, first base and the outfield. Rays manager Joe Maddon likes guys who can handle multiple roles.

“This is something that is definitely going to help us,” Maddon said. “I want to believe it’s also going to be helpful to him career-wise. You can develop more employment security by being able to do more things.”

Luke Scott had an RBI double and a single and Jose Molina also had two of the Rays’ 12 hits.

The Pirates made three errors in the first two innings, which led to three unearned runs.

Right fielder Brad Hawpe let a bloop hit bounce past him, third baseman Pedro Alvarez flubbed a high popup and second baseman Neil Walker overthrew 6-foot-4 first baseman Garrett Jones. A wild pitch by A.J. Burnett allowed another run to score.

Burnett, set to make the first opening day start of his career, had a bumpy spring debut. He allowed four runs and three hits in two innings.

“We’ve got to work on our composure during spring training, too,” Burnett said. “Things happen and balls don’t always bounce your way. Sometimes, you’ve got to make plays and make pitches.”

Burnett did not use his best pitch, the curveball. Instead, he threw mostly fastballs away and changeups.

“He’s working on things, so he’s not worried about results,” catcher Michael McKenry said. “He’s trying to get his rhythm and timing. We were throwing every hitter pretty much the same. We’re trying to get his pitch count up.”

NOTES: Pirates C Russell Martin (sore right shoulder) sat out for the third day in a row. He was injured Sunday when he got a late start to his pregame warmups. “My arm never got loose,” said Martin, expected to return to action by this weekend. ... RHP Jameson Taillon will start Thursday against the Red Sox. It will be his final outing with the Pirates before leaving to join Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. ... One day after he was struck on the left wrist by a batted ball, Rays LHP David Price said his arm feels fine. He is scheduled to start Sunday against the Minnesota Twins.

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

AP Sports Video
Poll

Should the NFL get rid of the extra-point attempt after a touchdown?

Yes
No
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow