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Defense disappoints Bucs manager Hurdle

Defense disappoints Bucs manager Hurdle

Defense disappoints Bucs manager Hurdle
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Two uninspiring games into the Grapefruit League schedule, and Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle already is not a happy camper. Like most skippers, he is quick to dismiss results. Effort and focus, not so much.

"We were sloppy in the field," he said following Sunday's 8-5 loss to Toronto, which in turn had followed Saturday's 7-1 loss to the Blue Jays in the Spring Training opener. "Our awareness wasn't where it needs to be to play a game -- a Major League game, a Minor League game or an exhibition."

The Bucs were charged with three errors, bobbled or kicked several other balls and committed the biggest uncharged gaffe of all in the sixth, when first baseman Jeff Clement's failure to cover the bag allowed the Blue Jays to score two runs on a grounder back to the pitcher.

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"It's a lack of focus," Hurdle said.

He was in no mood to lay part of the blame on the windy, relatively chilly game conditions.

"The Blue Jays I thought played a great game defensively," Hurdle said, "and they were playing in the same weather."

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