Pittsburgh Pirates

Mercer not concerned after exiting game early
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Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer left Pittsburgh’s 5-3 loss to Baltimore on Sunday night at McKechnie Field in the fourth inning because of left knee discomfort. He’s listed as day-to-day.

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Opportunity improves for Lobstein, Luebke
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The Pirates traded left-hander Eric O’Flaherty to the Braves on Sunday, removing one name from their bullpen competition entering the final week of Spring Training.

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Harrison hits 2-run triple, but lead slips away
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The Pirates chased Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in the first inning Sunday night at McKechnie Field, but the Orioles tied the game in the eighth and went ahead in the ninth for a 5-3 win.

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Hard-luck Luebke may finally catch break
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Snake-bit Cory Luebke is back on the mound and pitching well, potentially putting the Pirates in a tough spot with an opt-out deadline in his Minor League contract drawing near.

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Catching prospect Diaz not expecting surgery
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Pirates catching prospect Elias Diaz remains sidelined with a sore right elbow, but he’s confident he’ll be able to avoid surgery.

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Lobstein impresses with bat, arm vs. Twins
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Right-hander Kyle Gibson threw six scoreless innings and Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run single to help lead the Twins to a 3-0 win over the split-squad Pirates on Saturday at CenturyLink Sports Complex.

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Liriano goes 4 2/3 innings vs. Rays
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Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi pitched into the seventh inning against most of the Pirates’ starting lineup as Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh, 3-1, on Saturday night at McKechnie Field.

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Polanco (shoulder) scratched; Marte (quad) sore
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Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco was scratched from Saturday night’s starting lineup due to discomfort in his right shoulder, the club announced Saturday afternoon.

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Mercer-vs.-lefty could be preview of season
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Nobody has told Jordy Mercer he’ll be the Pirates’ leadoff man against left-handed pitchers this season, he said, but his spot on Friday night’s lineup card, in a 6-3 loss to the Red Sox, may have said enough.

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Vogelsong grinds through 4 1/3 vs. Red Sox
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David Price pitched five-plus innings Friday night as the Red Sox topped the Pirates 6-3 in Grapefruit League action.

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McCutchen scratched from lineup with tight left quad
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Pirates star Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the starting lineup Friday night as a precaution due to tightness in his left quadriceps.

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Pirates entering stretch run toward Opening Day
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The Pirates’ stretch run toward Opening Day has begun. Following Thursday’s 6-5 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium, there are seven days and eight games standing between the Pirates and a flight out of Florida.

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