The Times West Virginian

Pirates

March 3, 2013

Cabrera carries Tigers past Bucs

LAKELAND, Fla. — Miguel Cabrera has three home runs in 21 at-bats and if all goes well, he won’t be back at spring training for almost three weeks.

The reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner is headed to the World Baseball Classic and hopes to help Team Venezuela advance all the way to the finals March 19 in San Francisco.

Cabrera is one of several major league stars who will play for Venezuela, a tournament favorite. His teammates include Pablo Sandoval, Carlos Gonzalez, Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera and Martin Prado.

“Let’s go and see what happens,” Cabrera said after hitting a two-run homer for a Detroit Tigers split squad Saturday in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. “On paper you might look good, but you go out there and you don’t know what’s going to happen in baseball. It’s crazy.”

For the national fervor it inspires, Cabrera compared playing in the WBC to playing in the World Series.

“When you hear the national anthem and you see all the people in the stands singing the national anthem, it makes you feel very emotional. It’s different,” he said. “But in the World Series, you’ve played 162 games. Right now it’s kind of different because we’re just starting the year and you don’t know how you’re feeling.

“Maybe you feel pretty good one day but you don’t feel good the next day. It’s kind of weird. You’ve got to set your mind to go out there and say, ‘Let’s do it, let’s go play hard.”’

Cabrera has played in seven games this spring, but rarely beyond the fifth inning.

“When we go out and play a full game (Thursday in Puerto Rico), it’s going to be the first time we’ve played nine innings,” he said. “We’ll see how we feel when we play nine innings and get four at-bats. But I feel good. My legs feel good.”

It usually doesn’t take the 29-year-old Cabrera long to get cranked up. Tigers manager Jim Leyland often says Cabrera is a natural was “born to play baseball.”

His opposite-field home run Saturday off Jeanmar Gomez was the only long ball hit on a chilly day with the wind blowing out.

“It was the wind,” Cabrera said, grinning. “I just hit it and ran.”

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle wasn’t convinced.

“How much was jet stream and how much was him?” Hurdle said. “The guy is a tremendous hitter, well warranted by the season he put up last year. ... He’s not just a talented guy; he has a plan when he goes up there.”

Sandoval, the World Series MVP for San Francisco last year, is also a third baseman, so Cabrera isn’t sure which position he’ll play for Venezuela. He said he doesn’t care if he is moved to first base, where he has played before. He just wants to get started.

“I’m excited to see how we’re going to do,” Cabrera said.

Drew Smyly, competing for the fifth spot in Detroit’s rotation, pitched three perfect innings in his second spring start.

Gomez also went three innings. He gave up three hits, three walks and four runs, two on Cabrera’s homer in the third.

Austin Jackson had one of Detroit’s three hits and scored twice.

NOTES: Recently retired Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis, who grew up in Lakeland, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Pirates catcher Russell Martin went 0 for 3 as the designated hitter after missing three days with upper-body soreness. Martin will catch Sunday in Bradenton. ... Max Scherzer will get his first spring start for the Tigers against Atlanta on Sunday.

1
Text Only
Pirates
  • Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers, 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
    Harrison’s two-run double down the left field line capped a four-run outburst in the first against Haren (8-8).

    July 24, 2014

  • Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers, 6-1

    osh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 23, 2014

  • Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pittsbugh Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

    July 20, 2014

  • Pirates rally by Rockies in 11

    Jordy Mercer doubled home Neil Walker with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
    Walker led off the inning with a single against Colorado’s Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored one batter later when Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

    July 20, 2014

  • Pirates rally late, top Rockies, 4-2

    Travis Snider’s pinch-hit double in the eighth scored Neil Walker to spark the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
    Walker trotted home when Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t track down Snider’s sinking line drive off reliever Matt Belisle (2-5). All-Star Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly one batter later.

    July 19, 2014

  • Resilient Pirates looking for post All-Star surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day — if still heated — pennant race.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeter, Trout lead AL over NL 5-3 in All-Star game

    Derek Jeter soaked in the adulation from fans and players during one more night on baseball’s national stage, set the tone for the American League with a pregame speech and then delivered two final All-Star hits.
    Mike Trout, perhaps the top candidate to succeed the 40-year-old Yankees captain as the face of the game, seemed ready to assume the role with a tiebreaking triple and later a go-ahead double that earned him MVP honors.

    July 16, 2014

  • NL Central race should be fun

    If you’re a baseball fan, you’re going to want to watch the race for the National League Central division in the second half of the season.

    July 14, 2014

  • Liriano rusty in Pirates’ 6-3 loss

    Francisco Liriano was in trouble often, but it was just one bad pitch that really cost the Pittsburgh left-hander.

    July 13, 2014

  • Pirates drop final game before All-Star break

    Kris Negron hit his first career home run, and All-Star Todd Frazier added a two-run shot as the Cincinnati Reds rolled into the break with a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

    July 13, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads