Hey, we're back after an internet crash here at McKechnie Field and in that time the Blue Jays made a player move, putting Casey Janssen on the 60-dayt DL and claiming left-handed Bill Murphy on waivers. Murphy was the Athletics third-round pick in 2002 who was in the Diamondbacks camp and had given up five hits, three earned runs and walked three in six innings this spring. Last year, he was 3-3 (4.15) at Triple-A Tucson, with 102 strikeouts and 43 walks and nine wild pitches. In 10 games with the D-backs last year, he walked seven, hit a batter, struck out two and gave up nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.
He'll be 27 on April 9.
This game's moving along. Frank Thomas just smacked a Duke pitch off the bottom of the wall in left field and - geezus, Frank, what are you doing! Thomas is out at second on the throw. We're trucking into the bottom of the fifth and the Buccos are leading 2-0. Like that matters.
Jack Wilson screwed a ball into right field that got caught up in the wind and fell in front of a diving Alex Rios. Rios's throw to first weaved around Lyle Overbay and bounced to the plate, allowing Wilson to go to second. Sanchez cashed in Nate McLouth with a single - the first run the Pirates have scored off a starting pitcher in five games. Ah, what the hell - it's spring.
Bay's up with runners on the corners and one out and Rolen makes a smooth one-handed pickup and throw to get him at first for the second out. Effortless. Another run in.
Duke struck out Lyle Overbay on a sweet, slower curve that caught the inside of the plate. Three strikes, three pitches. Overbay's 34 plate appearances coming into this game were just one behind Reed Johnson for most on the Blue Jays, so they're giving that injured hand a good test drive this spring. So far, so good.
Duke's induced four consecutive ground-ball outs, which is pretty much what he has to do to be successful. Duke's an interesting guy: Steve Blass, the Pirates broadcaster, says Duke told him that he's noticing some of the veteran hitters are swinging a little later against him. Blass said that's the way it's supposed to work when it's working, son. Gregg Zaun lines into a double play with Aaron Hill on first to end the third.