Maholm, Capps, Van Benschoten Fare Poorly

Pirates lose to the Rays, 7-5. Maholm and Capps I'm not so concerned about, and Tom Gorzelanny pitched a scoreless first. (Maybe the Pirates' statements that his arm trouble was minor were actually accurate.) But John VanBenschoten needed to pitch better than this - he allowed three walks in two innings.

If these first few Spring games are any indication (and they may or may not be), the Pirates' fifth starter spot could be a mess all year. VanBenschoten, Bryan Bullington and incumbent Zach Duke have all been bad so far.

By the way, Ryan Doumit, starting at catcher, picked off B.J. Upton at second base. (UPDATE: Oops, he also gave up four stolen bases, including one to noted speedster Chris Richard, and only threw out one runner. The Rays were just running all day.) And the Pirates made their first cuts of the season, sending catchers Steve Lerud and Milver Reyes to the minors. Neither of them were a surprise, and they were just in camp to handle all the extra arms.

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