Notes: Gorzelanny a little too strong
Adrenaline, not sore elbow, affects the southpaw
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The problem isn't that Tom Gorzelanny is ailing, but maybe that he's feeling too good these days.
The left-hander guessed adrenaline was the main cause of his rocky outing during Sunday's 9-8 loss at Cincinnati. The rush of his first preseason start left a couple of fastballs in the high, juicy range hitters long for, and handed him a four-run, six-hit, three-inning pitching line.
On paper it was a bit ugly, but Gorzelanny fanned four and walked none, and kept the Reds off the board completely after the first inning. Simply put, he said, he was a bit overexcited about pitching pain-free.
"I'm not satisfied with how I'm doing right now ... but I think I'm taking it little by little and it's getting better every time," he said. "I don't think I'm going to do this throughout the season."
Hampered by tendinitis in his throwing elbow in the last month of the season last year, the left-hander is no stranger to working through discomfort. In fact, he said there's been something nagging him in the majority of his past preseasons. This year, though, he's back on track and mentally aware. That includes being realistic when looking at his statistics: A 14.21 ERA in three outings (6 1/3 IP), and a team-high 10 earned runs.
"Everyone feels pressured to throw good numbers," Gorzelanny said. "This year, there's a little more certainty with where I'm going and what I'm doing to get ready, I just don't want to push it too far. I don't want to overdo it.
"My feet are under me; I'm controlled. Now I have to go out there and attack and maintain the game."
Bay's back: Jason Bay started in left field, marking the first time since his November knee surgery that he'd played on defense. Bay saw limited action in the outfield, but delivered the game-tying RBI in the top of the fourth with a single up the middle that scored shortstop Brian Bixler.
Though he'd missed a week of games at the beginning of Spring Training, Bay said it felt like he hadn't missed any time.
"Once you get out there and get a little adrenaline going, everything's normal," he said. "I actually feel like I've been out there the whole Spring, nothing really changed. I fully expect that from here on out, maybe not right away jumping fully into it, but it's really a non-issue.
Sticky situation: Pittsburgh scored eight runs on Sunday, but the last was perhaps the most interesting. Nyjer Morgan's line-drive single to center with one out in the eighth set off a domino effect that, by the time the play was finished, saw three runs score and Morgan on third.
Center fielder Norris Hopper's throw home was short, late and wide, and caromed toward the visitor's dugout, allowing Pittsburgh's Michael Ryan to advance to third. Ryan rounded big, and got caught in a rundown that ended when he collided with Reds pitcher Brian Shackleford, tumbled to the ground and was tagged out. The home plate umpire waved Ryan home, and Shackleford was credited with an error for interference.
Another twist: Because of an error by infielder Mark Bellhorn earlier in the eighth inning, none of the four runs scored in the inning were earned.
Did you know? With its 10-hit performance Sunday, Pittsburgh has now collected double-digit hits in eight straight games.
Up next: The Pirates return home on Monday to host the Indians at 1:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Tony Armas Jr. (0-0, 1.80 ERA) will make his third preseason appearance for Pittsburgh, and will face Cleveland lefty Jeremy Sowers. Scheduled to follow Armas are Shane Youman, Dan Kolb and John Wasdin.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.