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Hutchinson Struggles In Loss To Orioles, Battle For Pirates Rotation Spot Continues

BRADENTON, Fla. (93-7 THE FAN) -- It appears the opportunity to be the Pirates' fifth starter remains very much out there as another candidate struggled Friday in Bradenton as Baltimore beat the Bucs 6-5.

Drew Hutchison made his second start and went three and a third innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and he walked two.

"I didn't pitch as well as I would have liked to," Hutchison said. "Felt like I had thrown the ball real well coming into today. I didn't do as good of a job as being aggressive as I was in those earlier outings. Got into a few situations where I picked a little bit, that's happens when you don't attack. You can put yourself in bad situations."

With Tyler Glasnow struggling in each of his last two starts, Trevor Williams throwing in a "B" game today and Steven Brault seemingly gaining on the others. This competition seems wide open.

"Gotta control what you can control and go out there and just compete," Hutchison said. "I'm very happy with where I've been with the exception of today, it's just a couple of small things. Look to bounce back and put this one behind me and perform at a level I know I can."

Williams Throws Loaded "B" Game

Williams was expecting to throw against minor-leaguers, but when he arrived at Orioles camp in Sarasota, he found they rigged it so he faced Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, J.J. Hardy and Pedro Alvarez.

There was no official line from this game other than he threw 4 innings and 66 pitches and Williams said it went back-and-forth, "I got them and they got me."

Williams said pitching against the major leaguers turned his brain on more than a regular "B" game.

"He was very aggressive, attacked the zone, mixed in his pitches," manager Clint Hurdle said of Williams. "It was a good challenge for him today over there, especially when you take that lineup and you get it thrown at you at 10 in the morning. That's not a B game."

"This competition has been good for our staff, our entire staff," Williams said of the battle to be the fifth starter. "We have the luxury of having more than five great starters that can pitch at the major league level. I'm glad I play baseball and they make those decisions."

Other Notes

* Francisco Cervelli played in his first game since returning from the World Baseball Classic, striking out twice and walking once.

* Alen Hanson played the entire game at second base Friday and went 3 for 5 with a couple of runs scored. Hanson is hitting .379 this Spring and is out of minor-league options. Hurdle said Hanson's speed and skill set is something they don't have a lot of, saying Hanson's game is in a good place right now.

* Saturday at the Phillies, Glasnow starts and Brault will also pitch, so potential for some clarity for the final rotation spot or just more chaos.

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