March 24, 2012; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Yamaico Navarro (36) hits a single in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Brad Lincoln pitched four innings, giving up three runs on homers by Jed Lowrie and Chris Snyder. The Pirates got one run each off J.A. Happ in the third, fourth and fifth, though, while Evan Meek pitched two scoreless innings, so the Bucs tied the game.
The Pirates then took a three-run lead in the seventh thanks to a series of singles. One of those was by Yamaico Navarro, who went 4-for-4 and is now batting .366 for the spring.
Unfortunately, the Bucs blew yet another late lead, as Chris Leroux came on in the bottom of the inning and allowed a single, two walks and a bases-clearing triple to J.B. Shuck. Leroux stranded Shuck after getting a pop-up and two strikeouts.
Leroux's struggles today inspired Bill Brink to comment that the Pirates would have a "tough decision" on what to do with Leroux in the coming week. I'm not sure why that would be. Leroux is out of options and he pitched very well down the stretch last year. He probably shouldn't even be competing for a job at this point. Leroux allowed nine runs in 6.1 innings, but he also has 10 strikeouts in that span. I haven't seen much of him this spring, but his performance so far just amounts to a bad couple weeks. It's not any big deal. If the Pirates were to risk losing him because of a couple bad Spring Training performances, I'm sure a bunch of GMs would be licking their chops.
Anyway, the game is heading to the 10th at this point. I have to head to rehearsal, but with most of the major leaguers now gone, the result doesn't really matter.
UPDATE: The Pirates won it in the top of the 10th on a go-ahead single by organizational player Kelson Brown, of all people.