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Pirates and Orioles tie 1-1

The first spring tie for the Buccos.

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates (1-4) and the Baltimore Orioles (2-4) squared off for another spring training affair Friday night for one of the rare evening spring games and it ended in a 1-1 tie. At Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida, newly acquired Vince Velasquez, formerly of Phillies’ fame, took to the hill for the Bucs against the O’s Kyle Gibson, the longtime Twin.

Just days after finishing an umpireless half inning, the O’s and Bucs had to run it back – this time with umpires. A rather expeditious exhibition saw itself halfway home at just around an hour after first pitch, which is perhaps a sign of things to come in terms of pace of play once the regular season gets underway.

Velasquez put in two innings of work on the bump, allowing one run on one hit, while walking two and striking out another. Velasquez, whose career has been mediocre to this point, expects to slot into the rotation for the regular season, but his deployment remains to be seen.

The Pirates picked up run number one in the early going, after Ji Hwan Bae singled, swiped a bag, and was then driven in on a Jack Suwinski single in the top of the first inning.

Suwinski, who played in 106 games last season, saw massive a splits difference between playing at PNC Park versus playing on the road. The lefty outfielder put up a 169 OPS+ at home versus an extraordinarily lousy 16 on the road. With such a discrepancy in numbers, it’s easy to imagine that the power numbers didn’t translate, either, with Suwinski dropping 16 bombs at PNC versus only three on the road. The hope will be a more consistent hitter as the season develops.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Orioles responded in kind, with one of Velasquez’s two walks haunting him (“Walks Will Haunt” is what scoreboards have told me). After Anthony Santander walked, Ryan Mountcastle promptly drove him in with his first double of the spring, knotting the game at 1-1.

The scoring lull continued deep into the game — and, in fact, never relented — after Pittsburgh received scoreless appearances from David Bednar, who struck out a pair; Carmen Mlodzinski, who tossed a couple scoreless innings; and Quinn Priester, whose name elicits excitement from the fanbase, added a quick scoreless frame; Nathan Webb, Cody Bolton, and Wei-Chieh Huang also did their part to keep the game knotted.

Dean Kremer and Bryan Baker managed to match the Pirates’ output for Baltimore, as did Eduard Bazardo, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Ofreidy Gomez.

With only four hits for the Pirates, offense was spared tonight. Chris Owings doubled, the Pirates only extra base hit; Carlos Santana added a single of his own.

The pitcher’s duel ultimately concluded tied in front of a 5,749 official attendance mark, in a game that lasted a cool two hours and 18 minutes.

The Pirates return to the field tomorrow in Clearwater to their face cross-state rival Philadelphia Phillies. Rich Hill is scheduled for Pittsburgh, while Philadelphia counters with Aaron Nola.