McCutchen (quad) scratched; Vogelsong spins positive

McCutchen (quad) scratched; Vogelsong spins positive

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Pirates star Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the starting lineup in Friday night's 6-3 loss to the Red Sox as a precaution due to tightness in his left quadriceps.

McCutchen worked out with teammates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., rather than make the trip down Interstate 75 to JetBlue Park.

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"I was a little aggressive with the lineup, trying to get this starting crew out front," manager Clint Hurdle said. "They needed him to do a couple more drills today to clear him for tomorrow."

McCutchen leads the team with five home runs this spring and is 8-for-31 overall with eight RBIs. The All-Star center fielder has said he's in much better condition this spring than when he was held back by a sore left knee last year.

"My body is in good shape, so I'm in good shape. Don't have to worry about it now," McCutchen said last week. "As long as you feel good, you go out there and play good."

Starling Marte moved from left to center field, and Gregory Polanco shifted from right to left. Minor League outfielder Tito Polo joined the starting lineup, batting eighth and playing right field.

Polo, a 21-year-old outfielder who spent last year with Class A West Virginia, wound up going 2-for-4 with a double, and both hits came off Red Sox ace David Price.

"I don't think it's going to turn into the Lou Gehrig story," Hurdle said, smiling. "It's a great night. I told [Starling] Marte, 'Make sure that kid calls somebody after the game. Calls home. Calls somebody. Calls everybody.' ... Fun to watch. Absolutely fun to watch."

Vogelsong learns from rough outing

Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks without recording a strikeout in the Pirates' 6-3 loss to the Red Sox. The veteran starter is competing for one of the last two spots in Pittsburgh's rotation against right-hander Juan Nicasio, enjoying an excellent spring, and left-hander Jeff Locke.

Vogelsong said his issues Friday were simply a matter of execution. He got himself into a number of favorable, two-strike counts but couldn't finish off hitters the way he wanted to.

"I did some things good tonight, and I did some things where I reverted back to what I was doing the last couple years,'' Vogelsong said. "When you're in situations like that, it's very easy to do.

"I just need to be very conscious of it and make sure I'm doing the things I want to do mechanically to execute pitches."

Hurdle has said the Pirates will take all their roster decisions down to the end of Spring Training, so Vogelsong has one more start to make his case. He is pleased with the work he's done this spring, even if the numbers didn't necessarily reflect it Friday night.

"If I didn't have one more, I've thrown the ball way too good this spring to let a night like this deter me from what I've been doing," he said. "What it does is just help you refocus a little bit. That's what I'm going to take out of it, get my mind a little bit sharper."

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.