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Frazier has perfect day as bat awakens

Utility man goes 3-for-3 with bases-clearing triple Friday; Osuna, Kramer impressing; Polanco scratched with knee discomfort
Special to MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Adam Frazier didn't expect his bat to stay quiet for much longer, and it made plenty of noise Friday.

Frazier, who was hitless in his first eight at-bats of Spring Training, went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a bases-clearing triple in a 10-8 loss to the Orioles. The Pirates' top utility man was a home run short of a cycle, but decided to end his day before taking a fourth at-bat.

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Adam Frazier didn't expect his bat to stay quiet for much longer, and it made plenty of noise Friday.

Frazier, who was hitless in his first eight at-bats of Spring Training, went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a bases-clearing triple in a 10-8 loss to the Orioles. The Pirates' top utility man was a home run short of a cycle, but decided to end his day before taking a fourth at-bat.

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"I was good with it," Frazier said. "Everybody in the dugout was saying, 'One more, one more.' But it's still the first week of spring. The cycle would have been cool, but this early in spring, you have to be smart."

Manager Clint Hurdle said he didn't think much about it, but Frazier had the opportunity to take another swing, if he wanted to.

"I don't think a Spring Training cycle is that big of a deal," Hurdle said. "Actually, we gave him the opportunity if he wanted another at-bat to take it, [but] he was good."

With the Pirates' recent acquisition of Corey Dickerson, Frazier is back in a utility role. He played second base Friday. It's a role he's comfortable with, but one he'd like to expand, if given the opportunity.

"I'll just bounce around until I get comfortable at each spot," Frazier said. "I'm getting some work in at second base and trying to get locked in at the plate."

Frazier said a slow start in the spring doesn't concern him like it has in the past, mainly because he felt like he was having good at-bats.

"It's not like I was striking out or anything like that," Frazier said. "Of course, just playing every other day it starts eating at you that you haven't gotten a hit. But overall, I feel pretty good right now."

Barring injuries or further transactions, Frazier will continue to split his time between different positions in the infield and outfield.

"You just have to be ready to play every day," Frazier said. "I figure I'll get in the lineup some way, no matter where I'm playing. I just want to help the team win."

Playing with pressure
Third baseman Jose Osuna continues to show improvement at the hot corner and made nice defensive play Friday, starting a double play from the shortstop position while on a shift.

"He's done well," Hurdle said. "He's made the plays when the ball has been hit to him. He's lost some weight. He's good on his feet. He's doing everything he can to go over there and be a good defender."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Hurdle said he's impressed by Osuna's work at third and added that playing in high-intensity games during winter ball for Bravos de Margarita in Venezula was good for Osuna.

"It's not that relaxed of an atmosphere down there, because the games do matter," Hurdle said. "They count, and nobody wants to see a guy trying out, especially the fans."

Around the horn
• There was a scary moment when center fielder Starling Marte ran into the center-field wall trying to track a home run off the bat of Colby Rasmus. He stayed done for a few seconds, but remained in the game and went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Video: PIT@BAL: Rasmus connects for a solo home run

Hurdle believes Marte could learn something from the incident that will allow him to approach the wall more safely in the future.

"You wait to see how they react after hitting the wall, and it just reinforces the fact that if you have time get back to the wall immediately," Hurdle said. "So we'll look at the replay. There might be some learning and a teachable moment in there."

• Shortstop Kevin Kramer continues to impress at the plate, hitting a double and drawing a walk in his two at-bats Friday. He is hitting .571 this spring with four extra-base hits.

"He's a backyard ballplayer and our developmental people have spoken highly of him," Hurdle said. "Some other guys may have gotten more credit than him, but he shows up ready to complete. I love the edge that he brings.

Gregory Polanco was scratched from the lineup Friday due to left knee discomfort. He has a contusion resulting from a slide he had in the game against the Red Sox on Wednesday.

Up next
The Pirates host the Phillies in a Grapefruit League game Saturday in Bradenton, Fla. at 1:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Ivan Nova is expected to make his second start of the spring at LECOM Park. George Kontos, Josh Smoker, Edgar Santana and Kyle Crick are also expected to pitch. The game will be broadcast live on Gameday Audio.

Ralph Long is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Pirates on Friday.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Adam Frazier, Kevin Kramer, Jose Osuna, Gregory Polanco