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Pittsburgh at Baltimore

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Pittsburgh (10-17)001000000192
Baltimore (13-12) «00003110x591

Pearce a catalyst in return as O's take Game 1 from Bucs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Cast aside and then welcomed back, Steve Pearce enjoyed a memorable performance in his return to the Orioles.

Pearce had three hits and two RBI to help Baltimore beat the skidding Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 Thursday in a doubleheader opener.

Nick Markakis homered and No. 9 hitter Ryan Flaherty drove in two runs for the Orioles. Flaherty batted directly ahead of Pearce, who tied a career high for hits.

Pearce was designated for assignment by Baltimore on April 22 and released five days later. After turning down an offer from Toronto, the first baseman was re-signed Monday after Chris Davis went on the 15-day disabled list.

Pearce singled in the third, fifth and sixth innings and was solid in the field.

''Stevie gave us a real lift,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ''Made a couple nice plays at first, too. Stevie was a big contributor. Great example of players having an opportunity of deciding where they want to play. He wants to play [for us]. We're thankful that he did.''

The strange sequence of events was not lost on Showalter.

''I don't know if you'll ever see it again. Maybe in Baltimore,'' the manager said.

Pedro Alvarez had two hits and an RBI for the Pirates, who stranded 13 and went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position. Pittsburgh has lost 14 of 18 after a 6-3 start, and the defeat ended the team's nine-game road winning streak in interleague play.

''In all but two innings we had runners in scoring position and couldn't bust the big hit,'' manager Clint Hurdle said.

The single-admission doubleheader followed consecutive rainouts. The rain lingered long enough to delay the start of the fifth inning by 21 minutes.

Trailing 1-0 when the stoppage occurred, Baltimore regrouped during the break and sent nine batters to the plate in a three-run fifth. After a single, walk and an error loaded the bases against Charlie Morton (0-4), Pearce hit an RBI single and Flaherty grounded an opposite-field, two-run single to left field.

Pittsburgh got the first two runners on in the sixth and chased Bud Norris (2-2), but Ryan Webb retired Tony Sanchez and Jordy Mercer.

''We had Norris on the ropes for four of the first five innings and actually again in the sixth,'' Hurdle noted. ''Couldn't push through on him.''

Pearce singled in a run in the sixth, and Markakis hit his first homer of the season in the seventh for a 5-1 lead.

Norris allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings despite giving up seven hits, walking one and hitting two batters.

''Early in the game, late in the game, you have to make big pitches,'' Norris said. ''Guys made the plays behind me. That was nice to see.''

Tommy Hunter got the last out with runners on second and third for his seventh save.

Morton started well but came unhinged after the rain delay and lost his fourth consecutive start. The right-hander permitted four runs, two earned, and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

''I kept grooving fast balls to Steve Pearce and he kept putting good swings on them,'' Morton lamented. ''The ground ball to Flaherty to left field, the pitch was about a foot-and-a-half off the plate at his ankles.''

The Pirates got runners on second and third with two outs in the first inning before Norris struck out Gaby Sanchez.

Pittsburgh stranded a runner in scoring position in the second, and was poised to waste Jose Tabala's leadoff triple in the third before Alvarez delivered a two-out RBI single.

The Pirates mounted several threats the rest of the way, none of which produced a run. Pinch-hitter Travis Snider hit a routine grounder in the eighth with runners at second and third and two outs.

Notes

Baltimore won a challenge in the second inning. After umpires ruled Tony Sanchez was hit in the hand by a pitch, the call was overturned when a replay showed he fouled the ball off the knob of the bat. ... The Orioles activated 3B Manny Machado (knee) from the 15-day disabled and optioned INF Steve Lombardozzi to Triple-A Norfolk. Machado was slated to make his season debut in Game 2. Also, LHP Troy Patton was scheduled to come off the suspended list in the second game. ... The last time Pittsburgh played a doubleheader on the road was in July 2011, at Washington. ... Pirates LHP Wandy Rodriguez (right knee inflammation) allowed three runs and four hits over 3 1/3 innings in a rehabilitation assignment for Double-A Altoona against Erie. ''Wait and see how he feels tomorrow. Last time, he flared up the day after,'' Hurdle said. ... Baltimore's rainout against Tampa Bay on April 15 was rescheduled as part of a split doubleheader on June 27. ... Baltimore improved to 1-6 at home when the opposition scores first.

 
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Steve Pearce, cut by the O's on Sunday and re-signed on Monday, has three hits and two RBI for the O's in the opener. (USATSI)
Steve Pearce, cut by the O's on Sunday and re-signed on Monday, has three hits and two RBI for the O's in the opener. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

P. Alvarez
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Baltimore

S. Pearce
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, RF5110000 .258
Ike Davis, 1B5000021 .179
Andrew McCutchen, CF3020111 .297
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5031002 .194
Gaby Sanchez, DH4010024 .222
Neil Walker, 2B2000102 .231
Starling Marte, LF3020102 .241
Tony Sanchez, C4000014 .276
Jordy Mercer, SS3000004 .159
   a-Travis Snider, PH1000002 .224
   Clint Barmes, SS0000000 .154
Charlie Morton, P0000000 .000
   Jeanmar Gomez, P0000000 .000
Totals3519136  
a-grounded out for Mercer in the 8th
Batting
3B - Jose Tabata (1, Norris)
RBI - Pedro Alvarez (15)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Alvarez (8)
SB - Starling Marte 2 (9, 2nd base off Norris/Clevenger)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Morton-Mercer-Davis
E - Pedro Alvarez (5, Throwing), Neil Walker (1, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton (L,0-4) 5.1742240 4.21
Jeanmar Gomez 2.2211011 4.96
IBB - Markakis by Charlie Morton
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 98-60, Jeanmar Gomez 36-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 12-1, Jeanmar Gomez 3-3
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 26, Jeanmar Gomez 9
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jemile Weeks, 2B3000003 .273
   Jonathan Schoop, 2B0000000 .241
Nelson Cruz, LF4010012 .283
Nick Markakis, RF3111100 .301
Adam Jones, CF4000013 .255
Delmon Young, DH4110010 .317
Steve Clevenger, C3210100 .261
J.J. Hardy, SS3110001 .246
Steve Pearce, 1B4032010 .364
Ryan Flaherty, 3B3012013 .194
Bud Norris, P0000000 .000
   Ryan Webb, P0000000 .000
   Zach Britton, P0000000 .000
   Darren O'Day, P0000000 .000
   Brian Matusz, P0000000 .000
   Tommy Hunter, P0000000 .000
Totals3159525  
Batting
2B - Steve Clevenger (4, Morton)
HR - Nick Markakis (1, Gomez)
SH - Jemile Weeks (2), J.J. Hardy (1)
RBI - Nick Markakis (9), Steve Pearce 2 (2), Ryan Flaherty 2 (5)
CS - Nelson Cruz (1, 2nd base by Gomez/T. Sanchez)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Pearce-Flaherty
E - Darren O'Day (1, Throwing)
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bud Norris (W,2-2) 5.1711130 3.94
Ryan Webb (H,3) 1000000 4.50
Zach Britton (H,4) 1000110 1.10
Darren O'Day 0.2100000 0.96
Brian Matusz 0.2100110 5.00
Tommy Hunter (S,7) 0.1000010 3.00
WP - Bud Norris (1)
HBP - G. Sanchez (by Bud Norris), A. McCutchen (by Zach Britton)
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 105-72, Ryan Webb 5-5, Zach Britton 17-9, Darren O'Day 11-7, Brian Matusz 18-10, Tommy Hunter 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 7-5, Zach Britton 2-0, Darren O'Day 1-1, Brian Matusz 1-0
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 25, Ryan Webb 3, Zach Britton 5, Darren O'Day 3, Brian Matusz 4, Tommy Hunter 1
Game Information
Attendance - 0
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Pat Hoberg, First Base - Jeff Gosney, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Chris Guccione