BRADENTON, Fla. -- For those who may not have recognized the pitcher breezing through the first four innings of the Pirates' 3-2 victory over Philadelphia on Friday, rest assured:That indeed was Kevin Correia, who made both silent and quick work of the Phillies. He not only added four one-hit innings to his spring resume -- which now reads nine shutout innings on three hits -- but he needed only 46 pitches for it. "My previous outing, my pitch count was a little higher than I wanted. Today was a lot more efficient," said Correia. "That's as good as you're going to get out of me." Manager Clint Hurdle couldn't ask for more ... or less. He made special note that Correia got eight of his 12 outs on three pitches or fewer.
"And he had one three-ball count," said Hurdle, referring to a four-pitch walk of Scott Podsednik to start the fourth. "He followed the glove. He's pretty much been following the glove all spring."Last Spring Training -- his first with the Pirates -- Correia had a 5.92 ERA while allowing 32 hits and 17 runs in 24 1/3 innings. It was still good enough to earn him the Pirates' Opening Day assignment in 2011.
Bucs await McGehee's bat to catch his glove
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Is third base Casey McGehee's Fortress of Solitude? And first base his Kryptonite?The Bucs dealt for Milwaukee's erstwhile third-base regular to help out at both corners, but although McGehee has taken splendidly to first base with the glove, not so with the bat. After going 0-for-3 on Friday while playing first base against the Phillies, McGehee is 0-for-11 when in the lineup at the position. When playing third, he is batting .600 (6-for-10) with four RBIs. "Thanks for letting me know that," McGehee said in mock horror. "Now when I see my name at first, I'll get the shakes." Then he added with a grin, "No, I'm not that freaky. It's just the luck of the draw." Of course it is. And even while wearing Friday's collar, McGehee did deliver the eventual winning run of the 3-2 victory with a sharply hit infield grounder -- and saved two runs with deft scoops of throws into the third with runners in scoring position. "Casey takes a lot of pride in his defense," said manager Clint Hurdle. "He was challenged to move to the other side [of the infield] and has worked extremely hard at it. He's one of those guys that the ball goes in, and stays in."
The Pirates added a second "B" game against the Twins to the schedule. The teams will meet Sunday at Fort Myers in a 10 a.m. ET game. Brad Lincoln is set to make the start, for his first appearance since he was scratched from a Monday outing with tightness in his right calf. Jeff Karstens continues his world tour with Saturday's start against the Orioles, his first of the spring against an American team. The right-hander has already faced Canada (the Toronto Blue Jays) and The Netherlands without allowing a run in seven innings. Excluding James McDonald's three-inning, five-run outing on Wednesday against the Orioles -- Olympic-style judging -- the Pirates' season-opening rotation has allowed five earned runs in 23 innings, an ERA of 1.96. Yamaico Navarro, whose versatility was advertised as his biggest advantage to earning a seat on the bench, has made game appearances in right field as well as every infield position with the exception of first base. The first official game at the Miracle League Field of Manasota built with the support and cooperation of the Pirates and the Orioles will be played Saturday morning. Pittsburgh club chairman Bob Nutting will participate in the opening ceremonies at 8:45 a.m.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.