What's buzzing:

McCutchen gets HR, 3 hits, Pirates lose to Twins

AP - Sports

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen homered, doubled and singled Friday for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

McCutchen went 3 for 3, scored twice and drove in two runs. The reigning NL MVP is 8 for 11 in four games this spring.

''No big deal,'' he said. ''They don't count in the spring.''

McCutchen's two-run homer was part of a five-run barrage against Minnesota starter Vance Worley in 1 2-3 innings.

In the first inning, the Pirates sent nine batters to the plate and scored three times. McCutchen doubled and scored on Travis Snider's two-run single.

Worley was replaced by Kris Johnson after serving up McCutchen's homer in the second. Worley faced 12 batters, but recorded only four outs. The right-hander allowed five hits.

Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out two.

STARTING TIME

Pirates: Rodriguez threw more breaking balls than he did in his first spring outing. He's had trouble finding the zone with his curveball.

''I need to get that pitch over for strikes,'' Rodriguez said.

Twins: Worley is trying to re-establish himself in the major league rotation after finishing last season in the minors. He made 10 starts for the Twins and went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA.

Worley was solid in his Grapefruit League debut, allowing only one hit in three scoreless innings against Baltimore. But he left too many pitches up against the Pirates, and also was the victim of some bad luck. Three of the hits he allowed in the first inning were dribblers, including a bases-loaded infield single by Andrew Lambo.

NEED FOR SPEED

To be the Twins' everyday center fielder, Alex Presley needs to show he can get on base more often and be a base-stealing threat.

In 28 games last season, Presley had a .336 on-base percentage but swiped only one base in four tries. This spring, he's competing with Aaron Hicks for the starting job.

''If I play my game, I think I'll be fine,'' Presley said. ''I did a lot of good things last year with this team. If I steal a few more bases, I'll be good. We need some guys at the top who can run, and they're looking for me to be that guy.''

The 28-year-old broke into the majors with the Pirates in 2010, but was squeezed out of playing time when Starling Marte arrived in 2012. He was traded to the Twins last August.

''I got some chances in Pittsburgh,'' Presley said. ''I capitalized on some, didn't on others. This is a new start and I'm excited to have the chance.''

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Pirates closer Jason Grilli made his first outing of spring training and tossed a 1-2-3 inning.

''It feels good to get on the bump and see all the hard work come into effect,'' Grilli said.

The 37-year-old Grilli has been eased into workouts this spring after missing six weeks last season because of a sprained right flexor tendon.

''He's going to get as many innings as he's gotten in the past,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''It's just how you construct it. A closer never gets closing work in spring training unless he pitches the first or second inning, and that doesn't happen very often.''

SHOWDOWN

There was a marquee matchup in the Twins-Pittsburgh B game at the Pirates' minor league complex. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, who's rated the game's top prospect by Baseball America, faced Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole.

The 20-year-old Buxton was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. At Class A last year, he batted .334 with 12 home runs and 55 stolen bases. The 23-year-old Cole was the first overall pick in 2011. He made his big league debut last June and went 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA.

Cole won this showdown, as Buxton struck out in both at-bats against him.

View Comments (0)
  • Florida man faces sentencing in smuggling of Dodgers' Puig

    A South Florida businessman is set to be sentenced for illegally helping finance the smuggling of Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig out of Cuba. Gilberto Suarez is likely looking at a prison term of up to a year at Friday's hearing before U.S. … More »

    AP - Sports - 25 minutes ago
  • Wushu to bid again for Olympic spot

    Wushu will bid again for inclusion in the Olympics and is banking on increased participation in Africa and the Americas to aid their chances after previously missing out to wrestling. "We have to undertake another bidding process," International … More »

    Reuters - 36 minutes ago
  • Super Bowl, World Series champs back gay marriage at court

    The New England Patriots are for same-sex marriage. So are the San Francisco Giants. The reigning baseball and football champions, along with baseball's small-market Tampa Bay Rays, are among the thousands of businesses, religious groups, advocacy … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 hours ago
  • Bigger, faster, stronger? Not everybody at spring training

    Bigger, faster, stronger? Not everybody at spring training

    Ryan Howard trimmed down. CC Sabathia bulked up. Jered Weaver packed on muscle, Jesus Montero shed some flab. … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 hours ago
  • LEADING OFF: Harvey takes mound for New York Mets

    LEADING OFF: Harvey takes mound for New York Mets

    After losing to Max Scherzer and the Tigers on that summer weekend and falling to 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, Harvey was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow. Harvey spent all of 2014 rehabilitating and is hoping to get the ball for the Mets' … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 hours ago