McCutchen returns to lineup as Pirates fall to Orioles

All-Star center fielder played four innings after not playing since March 12

McCutchen returns to lineup as Pirates fall to Orioles

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Steve Pearce ignited a five-run fourth inning with his fifth homer of the spring on Tuesday and the Orioles went on to defeat Pittsburgh, 9-2, in Grapefruit League play.

Pirates All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen played four innings in his return to the lineup after a 12-day layoff with "lower-body soreness." McCutchen went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and smoothly fielded several balls hit his way.

Ubaldo Jimenez started the game for the Orioles with an 8.74 ERA for his first four spring starts. But he shut out the Pirates through five innings on four hits, striking out three without issuing a walk. His ERA now sits a 6.06.

"I feel really good. I've been able to do what I'm supposed to do in the last two games, and that's command the fastball," Jimenez said. "I'm ahead in the count, and I stay ahead. That's what I did today."

After being blanked through three innings by Pirates starter Radhames Liz, the Orioles jumped reliever Jared Hughes for the five runs and six hits in the fourth, beginning with Pearce's homer. Chris Davis, Everth Cabrera and Ryan Flaherty delivered RBI singles to build the rally.

Young and Flaherty each had three hits for the Orioles, who also got a two-run single from Paul Janish in the sixth.

Up next: Following their second and final off-day of the spring, the Bucs will be back in McKechnie Field on Thursday for an intriguing 1:05 p.m. ET game with the Braves which you can listen to exlcusively on Vance Worley, Pittsburgh's most impressive starting pitcher of the spring, is due to duel lefty Wandy Rodriguez, who has earned a spot in the Braves' rotation 10 months after his release by the Pirates.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.