- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Cody Asche each homered Saturday but the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rollins and Howard went deep in the first inning against right-hander Stolmy Pimentel. Asche broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning with a long homer to right field.

Pimentel, who will begin the season as the Pirates‘ long reliever and spot starter, worked five innings and gave up three runs on six hits. He had three strikeouts.

Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett pitched 5 1-3 innings against his former team and allowed two runs on seven hits. He walked six and struck out two.

Travis Snider, the front-runner to be the Pirates‘ everyday right fielder, went 2 for 4 with one RBI.

Travis Ishikawa, a non-roster player competing to be the backup first baseman, hit a solo homer in the eighth inning to tie it at 3.


Phillies: Burnett put 13 runners on base (seven hits, six walks) in 5 1-3 innings and was not happy with his curveball.

“The hook’s inconsistent right now,” Burnett said, “But that always comes, so I’m not worried about that. The more I throw it, the more I get out there, I’m going to find that release point.”

It was Burnett’s second outing this spring against the Pirates, for whom he won 26 games over the past two seasons. Overall, he’s made four Grapefruit League outings with his new club and has a 7.53 ERA.

“When you get under the lights, it’s different,” Burnett said. “It’ll be OK.”

Pirates: Pimentel threw 67 pitches in five innings, which is about as far as the Pirates want him to get stretched out at this point. He is not normally a flyball pitcher, and said falling behind in the count was the culprit for the Phillies‘ power surge against him.

“I felt good, but I was working behind in the count all the time,” Pimentel said. “When you you’re behind, the hitter feels more comfortable.”


Pirates: Left-hander Jeff Locke (oblique) said he felt fine after throwing a bullpen session Saturday morning and working two innings in a minor game Friday. However, Locke, who has one minor league option left, almost certainly will not make the starting rotation.

Story Continues →