CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Adam Eaton finished another outing, answered more questions about moving to the bullpen and went home still in the rotation.
Eaton struggled over five innings in the Philadelphia Phillies' 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.Ian Snell was sharp, tossing five scoreless innings for the Pirates. Ronny Paulino drove in two runs with a pair of hits.Eaton, who signed a three-year, $24.5 million free-agent deal in the offseason, is asked almost daily whether he would consider becoming a reliever because the Phillies have six starters.Jon Lieber is considered the odd man out, though manager Charlie Manuel hasn't said which pitcher he would move to the bullpen if general manager Pat Gillick doesn't make a trade before the season opener on April 2.Eaton allowed three runs and eight hits against the Pirates, raising his ERA to 4.63 this spring."They haven't talked to me about being a reliever, so I'm still a starter as far as I know," he said. "I guess it's between Jon and I. Things are still going to shake out. I know Pat says he can't trade anybody, but I don't think a trade has come up that he wants to do. How about that? I'm sure there's a lot of interest in any one of our starters. I can't predict anything."Snell allowed four hits, struck out five and walked two. He hasn't allowed a run in his last three appearances, spanning 11 innings."The biggest difference for me this spring is I'm mixing up my pitches more and trying to mess with guys' heads a little more," Snell said. "Last year, I felt I relied on my fastball a little too much. I've changed things up a little bit and have kind of a new look."Snell is slated to be Pittsburgh's No. 2 starter behind Zach Duke. The 25-year-old right-hander was 14-11 with a 4.74 ERA last year."He has been on a mission from the first day of spring training," manager Jim Tracy said. "He has grown so much as a pitcher and as a person. He has so much maturity both on the mound and off the field. It has all been very impressive. He's throwing all his pitches for strikes and all from the same arm speed."Paulino drove in runs with a single in the first inning and a double in the third. Don Kelly added an RBI double.Brennan King's RBI single in the eighth against Dan Kolb spoiled the shutout."We definitely have to step it up," Manuel said. "The last couple games, offensively we didn't click. But we've been scoring runs the whole spring."
The Phillies had two players thrown out trying to stretch singles into doubles -- Ryan Howard and Abraham Nunez. ... Phillies rookie RHP Joe Bisenius, a candidate for one of two open bullpen spots, allowed one run, two hits and walked two in 1 2-3 innings. ... Paulino has 16 hits in his last 23 at-bats. ... Paul Maholm pitches against the Tigers for Pittsburgh on Tuesday. ... Cole Hamels will make a start in a Triple-A game for the Phillies while Zack Segovia starts against the Yankees.