Duke throws CG, 4-hit shutout in 7-0 win


In front of a sell out crowd, Zach Duke threw a four hit, complete game shutout leading the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-3) to a 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros (1-6), Monday afternoon at PNC Park. Duke (2-0) is off to a strong start after a 5-14 season in 2008 and credits pitching coach Joe Kerrigan for the turnaround. Duke‚Äôs complete game shutout was the first by a Pirates pitcher in a home opener since 1978 While Duke dominated on the pitchers mound, Freddy Sanchez had three doubles, starting a five run third inning for the Pirates. Adam LaRoche who is notoriously a slow starter in April had three hits including a two run homer in the third inning to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead. Nyjer Morgan capped off the Pirates 5-run third inning, with a two-run single, scoring Ramon Vazquez and Jack Wilson. Ryan Doumit added a solo homerunRead More »

Sanchez, Duke lead Pirates to 7-4 win


Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson combined for 8 hits and pitcher Zach Duke went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates (2-1) beat the St. Louis Cardinals (1-2) 7-4 Wednesday night at Bush Stadium. Duke, (5-14) last season, showed strong command throughout the evening to record his first career win at Bush Stadium and his first victory over the Cardinals since a complete game on Aug. 11, 2006, at home. Duke struck out four, walked two and scattered five hits on the night. Freddy Sanchez led the Pirates hit parade going 4-for-5 for his third straight multi-hit game on the season. Sanchez is batting .571 on the season and is at 100% health for the first time in two seasons. Jack Wilson continued his strong performance at the plate, adding four hits and two RBI‚Äôs. A four run second inning sparked a 17 hit night for theRead More »

Tuesday’s News & Notes; Pitcher Rankings through 11 days of workouts; ETA 2009 for Alvarez?


Brian Kelly from Bradenton reports the following Infielder Luis Cruiz will miss 7-10 days with a hip injury. Tough break for Cruiz. Team seems high on him and he‚Äôs a sleeper in spring training to make the squad. From what I‚Äôve seen from him, he is a better option than Brian Bixler whose time in the organization is hanging by a thread. Middle infielder Ruben Gotay is seen as a good depth acquisition throughout the organization. The Pirates could still add a few more players in the next 4 weeks as the team has an offer on the table to reliever Will Ohman and remains interested in Pedro Martinez. Eight pitchers threw practice today: Daniel McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, John Grabow, Paul Maholm, Jason Davis, Zach Duke and Denny Bautista. All pitchers threw live batting practice. Daniel McCutchen, a sleeper in camp threw well today. He‚Äôs not a power pitcher butRead More »

MLB: Zach Duke for Robert Andino?


Jeff Frisaro reports, Marlins infielder Robert Andino, who is out of options, could be headed to the Pirates. Florida’s second round pick in 2002, Andino has been blocked at shortstop by All-Star Hanley Ramirez. Versatile Alfredo Amezaga also stands in Andino’s way of playing time. And the recent addition of infielder Emilio Bonifacio from the Nationals has opened the door for Florida to move Andino. The Marlins have had discussions with the Pirates about Andino, who spent about half of 2008 at Triple-A. The Pirates have been in discussions with the Marlins for the past couple days and according to sources Zach Duke could be going the other way.