Pittsburgh Pirates 10, Tampa Bay Rays 8
The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 10-8 in Thursday’s Grapefruit League game
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 10-3 in Grapefruit League play. This is due to their 10-8 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday afternoon.
In Thursday’s victory the Pittsburgh Pirates got some shaky pitching and some less than stellar defense. However, their lineup came ready to hit and this made up for the shakiness on the mound and in the field. 16 hits and three walks later, the Pirates had a victory.
For the Pirates, Chad Kuhl made the start. This was Kuhl’s third appearance of the spring, and the appearance he has struggled in most. Kuhl allowed three runs, two earned, on one hit, two walks, he hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, and struck out a pair in three innings pitched.
While, yes, Chad Kuhl was burnt by some poor defense on Thursday he still allowed too many base runners. His wild pitch did not help his cause, either.
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Chad Kuhl has now pitched seven innings this spring. In these seven innings pitched he has allowed just two hits, two walks, he has hit a batter, and he has struck out six. He has also been throwing his new change up with success, which is great to see.
Wade LeBlanc followed Kuhl on the mound. LeBlanc lasted 2 2/3 innings surrendering four runs on five hits, including a pair of home runs. Minor League pitched Brett McKinney would have to get the final out of LeBlanc’s third inning of work.
So far this spring Wade LeBlanc has been horrible. In 7 2/3 innings pitched he has allowed eight hits, six runs, three home runs, and he has walked two batters. Despite these results he is 3-0 this spring, making him the latest example of how meaningless of a stat a pitcher’s win/loss record is.
Felipe Rivero pitched the seventh inning and did Felipe Rivero things. He retired all three batters he faced and recorded a strikeout. In four innings pitched this spring Rivero has allowed just one hit while striking out five batters.
A.J. Schugel followed Rivero allowing one run on two hits, two walks, and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Minor League pitcher Tate Scioneaux would record the final out of the game for the Pirate pitching staff.
The Pirate offense got contributions from many players in Thursday’s victory. Adam Frazier started at shortstop, hit lead off, and went 2-for-3 at the plate. Frazier also drew a walk. Kevin Newman, who is now hitting .313 this spring, would replace Frazier at shortstop and go 1-for-2 at the plate.
continued his red hot spring in Thursday’s victory. Osuna made the start at first base and he went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. This included Osuna hitting his team leading fourth home run of the spring.
However, Osuna also committed an error at first base that led to an unearned run.
Alen Hanson, who is battling to win the final bench spot, started at third base on Thursday. He finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with a double. However, he also got caught stealing for the third time this spring.
Philip Gosselin, who Hanson is competing with for the final bench spot, made the start at second base. Gosselin finished the day 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
A good sign in the Pirate offensive explosion is the pitchers it came against. The Bucs tagged Tampa Bay starting pitcher Blake Snell for two runs in two innings of work. Snell is one of the Rays’ top prospects, and will be in their Opening Day rotation.
Furthermore, the Pirates got four runs off of veteran reliever Tommy Hunter.
Catcher Elias Diaz and outfielder Daniel Ortiz both collected a pair of hits for the Pirates as well. Both Diaz and Ortiz are slated to start the year with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Next: Why The Pirate Offense Will Be One Of The NL's Best In 2017
Tomorrow, the Pittsburgh Pirates will welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to LECOM Park. Drew Hutchison will start for the Pirates. Juan Nicasio, Tony Watson, Daniel Hudson, and Dovydas Neverauskas are all scheduled to pitch for the Pirates as well.
Matt Andriese will make the start for Tampa Bay, this will be Andriese’s second start of Spring Training.