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PIRATES 9, NATIONALS 1

VIERA, Fla. — Ramon Ortiz threw more pitches than he anticipated in the Nationals’ Grapefruit League opener. The right-hander worked three innings and threw 50 pitches but only allowed one run. He battled through a 27-pitch second inning, one in which he loaded the bases on three walks. Other than those walks, Ortiz was satisfied with his performance.

The Pirates scored their only run off him in the second when center fielder Andrew McCutchen delivered a bases-loaded, two-out single to left, with Marlon Byrd gunning down Mike Edwards at the plate to prevent another run.

Meanwhile, the Nationals could not produce a big hit when they needed one, stranding 12 men. Leadoff man Brandon Watson went 2-for-2 and reached base three times. Catcher Mike DiFelice (2-for-3) drove in Byrd with a second-inning single to shallow center for the Nationals’ only run of the game. Non-roster invitee Steve Watkins took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in two innings of relief.

THE BUZZ

RAMON ORTIZ

Walks three in the second, but holds Pirates to one run.

AVAILABLE ARMS

Two games in and they’re already calling up minor leaguers for help.

BRANDON WATSON

Leadoff candidate goes 2-for-2 with a walk.

MLB UNIFORM MAKERS

Turned Class AAA coach Rick Eckstein’s last name into “Eckstine.” Guess they never heard of his brother.

BY THE NUMBERS

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