Phillies break through late, blank Bucs

Phillies break through late, blank Bucs

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Brock Stassi led off the top of the seventh inning with a double and scored on an Andres Blanco single up the middle to break a scoreless tie, lifting the Phillies to a 1-0 Grapefruit League win over the Pirates on Monday afternoon at McKechnie Field.

Both starting pitchers, Jeff Locke for the Pirates and Vincent Velasquez for the Phillies, opened with three scoreless innings.

Locke, projected as Pittsburgh's No. 3 starter, faced just one batter over the minimum. He allowed two singles and struck out one. Velasquez, who is competing for a rotation spot, gave up three singles, but only one left the infield. He also walked one, struck out three and benefited from getting two double plays.

Jackson's throw nabs Rogers

"I gave up a few hits, bad location," Velasquez said. "But I'm comfortable with today's outcome and hopefully I can do better in the next."

It was the first time a pitcher for either team had gone more than two innings.

"He threw all his pitches today," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of Locke. "Fastball, curveball, changeup all played. The curveball really played in the third inning. Efficient with his first-pitch strikes. Six guys retired on three pitches or less. So clean and crisp and a good building block for him." 

The Phillies' rally began after A.J. Schugel came in to pitch for Pittsburgh. Stassi, who had entered as a defensive replacement at first base the previous inning, doubled to the right-field corner. After catcher Andrew Knapp struck out, Stassi advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Shortstop Ryan Jackson walked. With the infield in, Blanco singled sharply up the middle to drive in the run.

Up next for the Phillies: The Phillies host the Pirates on Tuesday at Bright House Field at 1:05 p.m. ET. Left-hander Adam Morgan, who is competing for the No. 5 job in the rotation, and right-hander Andrew Bailey, who is competing for a back of the bullpen job, are scheduled to pitch. Also scheduled to pitch are Yoervis Medina, Chris Leroux and Dalier Hinojosa.

Up next for the Pirates: Left-hander Jon Niese, who was acquired from the Mets over the offseason for second baseman Neil Walker, will make his second Grapefruit League start Tuesday against the Phillies. In his first appearance for the Pirates, Niese allowed four runs on five hits and a walk in two innings. Also slated to face the Phillies are Neftali Feliz, Rob Scahill, Curtis Partch, Guido Knudson and Kelvin Marte.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.