James McDonald shook off a flashback-esque first inning to get the Bucs rolling as they defeated the Atlanata Braves 9-2.
Shortstop Clint Barmes got the Pirates on the scoreboard with a two-run bomb in the fifth to grab a lead the Pirates would never reliquensh in the fifth inning. Gaby Sanchez led off the fifth with a double allowing Barmes to be a hero. The #AlwaysSmooth fanclub on twitter loved it.
Brad Hawpe ripped a two-run single and the Bucs erupted for five runs in the sixth inning.
Barmes also had a base hit in the third inning before hitting his first homer of the Grapefruit League season off Atlanta reliever Johnny Venters.
But the guy we came to see, starter James McDonald fired 22 pitches in the first inning and bounced back for a quick second to put up two hitless innings.
The Pirates trotted out a number of pitchers after JMac. We were impressed to see Jonathan Sanchez can find the plate, but he also showed why he is in Pittsburgh with some periods of wildness in his two innings of work.
Jason Heyward got the Braves on the board with a solo BOMB off Mark Melancon in the top of the sixth. The Bucs came back in the bottom half to open up the game against David Carpenter who took the loss for the Tomahawk Choppers.
Clint Robinson stroked an RBI double which was cool to see after he spent a good part of the morning in the new batting cages with Coach Pags.
Darren Ford added his fourth hit of the spring.
Closer Jason Grilli didn’t allow any hits in his inning of work , but did walk a batter before striking out Ramiro Pena and Reed Johnson.