Vogelsong takes 'step in right direction' with outing

Veteran righty improves upon first spring appearance, sets sights on regular season

Vogelsong takes 'step in right direction' with outing

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In his toughest test this spring, Pirates right-hander Ryan Vogelsong kept a powerful Red Sox lineup in check on Monday during a 3-1 win.

With eight of Boston's expected Opening Day starters in the game, Vogelsong allowed one run on four hits in four innings with two strikeouts.

• Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | Gear

The right-hander's lone blemish came on a solo home run in the second inning to Pablo Sandoval, his former teammate with the Giants.

"Pablo got me there. I've seen him hit that ball plenty of times," Vogelsong said with a laugh. "He probably knew I was going up there. I knew I was going up there. It was just a matter of if I was going to get it by him or not."

Unfazed by a hot shot up the middle from Hanley Ramirez in the second and Sandoval's long ball, Vogelsong retired eight of the final nine batters faced.

The 38-year-old veteran, who's going into his twelfth year in the Majors, doesn't put too much stock in his spring numbers.

"The biggest thing I'm focusing on is April 4. You want to have good results and progress towards that," Vogelsong said. "At the end of the day, it's about getting my pitches and delivery ready for Opening Day. Today was a step in the right direction."

Vogelsong faced the Red Sox on March 9 in his only other spring start and allowed three runs on four hits in three innings for the loss.

"I commanded all of my pitches today. I was much sharper than I was the other day, and kept my pitch count where it needed to be," Vogelsong said. "It's all about repeating my delivery."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.