The Pirates kept some momentum heading into the weekend with a 3-2 win over the cross-state rival Philadelphia Phillies in Grapefruit League action this afternoon. The Pirates were led once again by Starting Pitcher Kevin Correia, who extended his scoreless innings streak to nine by pitching three four scoreless frames. He gave up a double, a walk, and struck out two on his way to another fine start for Clint Hurdle’s Bucs.
Correia seems to be making a push to be the Opening Day starter, but Hurdle has been non-committal on that front so far. Regardless, if Correia can continue his spring magic into the regular season, it will give the Pirates a nice boost until SP AJ Burnett is permitted to begin his season.
The real story for the Pirates again – as it has been all spring – was the play of OF Starling Marte. Marte has absolutely thrashed Grapefruit League pitching thus far, and continued to be hot with his team-leading third HR and added a single and scored a run all off of Phillies ace SP Cliff Lee. Marte now leads the Pirates in homeruns, hits, and batting average as we enter the third week of Grapefruit League action. Jake Fox, looking to make the team as a non-roster invitee, added a homerun in the fifth inning to secure the Pirates 3-2 victory.
The bullpen held strong once Correia left the game. Evan Meek, Justin Wilson, Kyle McPherson, and Danny Moskos all pitched scoreless frames before turning the ball over to Bryan Morris in the ninth. Morris gave up two runs but managed to hold on for his first save of the spring.
The game was played at McKechnie Field and the attendance was reported as 6,547.