Bucs’ Maholm goes 5 innings


Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla.

Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm worked five innings and allowed four runs on five hits, as the Pirates lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Wednesday.

The left-hander walked two and struck out three.

David Cooper hit a two-run home run and Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo shot. Cooper’s homer capped a three-run fourth inning, when Toronto took a 4-1 lead.

“I hung two pitches and it cost three runs,” Maholm said. “This was the first time all spring — bullpens, game, anything — when I’ve all the sudden gotten out of whack. It’s hard when you know you’re off and you’re trying to compete.”

Maholm ended his outing on a positive note by tossing a 1-2-3 fifth inning.

“You want to feel good, but also it’s nice to get kicked around for an inning and know you can come back out and do what you need to do,” Maholm said.

Toronto right-hander Kyle Drabek also pitched five innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two.

Neil Walker hit a solo homer off Drabek in the first inning. Garrett Jones had a two-out, RBI single in the fourth.

“One of the main things I’m working on in spring training is trying to stay calm on the mound and not show anything to the hitters,” Drabek said.

“My arm has felt great this spring,” Drabek said. “It’s a success so far. Hopefully, it continues.”

Drabek, a former first-round draft pick and son of former Pirates pitcher Doug Drabek, made his big league debut last season. In three starts, he went 0-3 with a 4.76 ERA. This spring, he is in good position to lock up a spot in Toronto’s young, revamped starting rotation.

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