Cutch, Walker back Wilk's impressive start
Center fielder, second baseman both go 2-for-3; lefty tosses three scoreless
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen continued his excellent spring Sunday in a 5-0 victory over the Phillies at Bright House Field.
He entered the afternoon hitting .545 (12-for-22) with two doubles, three home runs and four RBIs in eight Grapefruit League games. After grounding out in the first inning, he knocked in a run with a single in the third and finished 2-for-3 on the day.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Tony Sanchez singled to center field with two outs to score Travis Ishikawa. Starling Marte doubled, Neil Walker was hit by a pitch and McCutchen singled to right with two outs in the third to make it 2-0.
Things got interesting in the fifth. Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon drilled Marte with a pitch in the middle of the back with nobody on and two outs. It was the third hit batter of the game.
It started a two-run rally, as Walker drove Marte in with a single. Papelbon then buzzed McCutchen a couple of times during his at-bat, and he eventually singled to advance Walker to second. Walker scored on an Ishikawa single.
Pirates right-hander Bryan Morris then drilled Phillies third baseman Cody Asche in the bottom of the fifth, prompting a warning to both benches from home-plate umpire Tom Hallion.
In the top of the seventh, Walker hit a solo home run off Antonio Bastardo, who plunked the next batter, Josh Harrison.
Pirates starter Adam Wilk was sharp in three scoreless frames, fanning two and allowing two hits. The Phillies' Sean O'Sullivan, potentially competing for an early-season rotation spot, didn't fare as well, giving up two runs on four hits in his four innings.
Up next: Stolmy Pimentel is due to make his second Grapefruit League start when the Bucs host the Yankees at McKechnie Field, with a 1:05 p.m. ET start time. Pimentel is virtually assured of at least a spot in the bullpen, but he is still in consideration to open the season in the rotation. This will be the Pirates' second game with extended instant replay, but they have not yet been involved in a replay challenge. Watch the game live on MLB.TV.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.