McLouth off to strong, satisfying spring with Pirates
TribLIVE Sports Videos
BRADENTON, Fla. — Nate McLouth evidently wants nothing to do with the Mendoza Line-level hitter he was the past three seasons in Atlanta.
"That guy's gone," he said. "You won't see him again."
That remains to be seen in real games, of course, but McLouth's return to the Pirates is at least off to a strong spring: His two-run home run in the seventh inning Wednesday beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-5, at McKechnie Field, and it raised his average to .400 — 8 for 20 — with two doubles and three RBI.
"I really was hoping for a good start. That was going to be very important," McLouth said.
The home run, in his first at-bat as a late replacement, came off a 2-0 fastball and wound up in the water beyond right field.
McLouth and hitting coach Gregg Ritchie had worked in recent days on getting more loft into balls he already was pulling solidly.
"Nice to see that rewarded," McLouth said.
> > Bench candidates Josh Harrison and Matt Hague each went 2 for 3. Harrison is batting .579, and Hague's home run was his third.
> > Reliever Evan Meek, working toward full velocity after shoulder trouble last year, was stretched to two innings and allowed a monster home run but otherwise showed his best zip — 94 mph — and command of the spring.
"I'm getting to the point where I can just let go," Meek said.
> > The Pirates reassigned four players — pitchers Daniel Cabrera and Tim Wood, first baseman Jeff Clement and outfielder Brandon Boggs — to minor-league camp. The camp roster is at 39.
> > A.J. Burnett's third side session — 52 pitches off a McKechnie Field mound — went as well as the first two, and he remains on pace for a seamless recovery from his broken orbital bone. He chose the side session over a live batting practice because he was uncertain of his arm strength, but he'll do the live BP Saturday.
"The eye's fine. Strength feels good. It's just timing and mechanics, things like that," Burnett said. "Today was definitely a big step."
> > Pedro Alvarez, getting extra at-bats in a minor-league game at Pirate City, went 2 for 5 with a home run, single and two strikeouts.
Show commenting policy
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 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.
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers; Marte injured
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Padres, July 6, 2015
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 5, 2015