Hanrahan keeps firing in Pirates' 11-5 win
SARASOTA, Fla. • Closer Joel Hanrahan continued to show All-Star form already, reaching 98 mph on the gun as he struck out two in a scoreless fifth inning today, part of the Pirates' 11-5 rout of the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium.
In three innings this spring, he has fanned six without allowing a hit. His only blemish was a leadoff walk today, but even that could be blamed on what Hanrahan called "a pretty big hole on the mound right where I step."
Is it June yet?
"I feel good about the strike zone right now," Hanrahan said. "I'm just trying to throw my pitches where I want."
A year ago, he was dueling with Evan Meek for the closer's job. This time, he's assured of it.
"I'm working on some things, working on getting my breaking pitches over. I'm just trying to get through this healthy and get some people out."
James McDonald allowed five runs and six hits in three innings, including home runs by J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds. His ERA through three starts is 9.00, largely because he's falling short of his goal of better fastball command.
"That's where it has to start for me," McDonald said. "Everything else works if I have that."
Garrett Jones, now at .313, went 2 for 2 with a walk, including an impressive RBI double off a sinker down and in. When Jones is on, his swing is compact enough that he can stay inside those.
"The swing is good right now," he said.
Josh Harrison's two-run triple in the seventh • a gapper to right-center • and a later single made him 6 for 10 this spring, strengthening his bid for a bench spot. Management is prioritizing offense in the bench decisions.
The Pirates (4-7) will face the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.