Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Minnesota Twins 1

Mar 2, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Tyler Webb (51) throws pitch during the fifth inning inning of a MLB spring training baseball game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Tyler Webb (51) throws pitch during the fifth inning inning of a MLB spring training baseball game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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On Monday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates were victorious once again

The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 19-9-1 in Grapefruit League play. On Monday night, the Bucs defeated the Minnesota Twins by a score of 4-1. This continues the team’s hot play this spring.

Ivan Nova started for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was very efficient. This continued a strong spring for Nova. His strong spring has been good to see as he will be a vital piece for the Pittsburgh Pirates and attempting to return to the postseason in 2017.

In four innings pitched, Nova allowed just one run. This lone run came on a solo home run by Miguel Sano. Ivan Nova needed just 48 pitches to get through his four innings of work, and he also struck out six batters.

Felipe Rivero followed Nova and did what he does best, blow batters away. Rivero pitched a scoreless fifth inning, which included a walk and a strikeout. Do not surprised if Felipe Rivero is the Pirates’ best relief pitcher in 2017.

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Rule 5 Draft selection Tyler Webb followed Rivero. Webb is competing with A.J. Schugel, Jared Hughes, and Wade LeBlanc for the final spot in the Pirate bullpen. He has had a strong spring, and that continued on Monday night.

Tyler Webb pitched three scoreless innings of relief in the Pirate victory. He allowed just one hit, struck out four batters, and faced the minimum due to a 5-4-3 double play in the eighth inning.

This spring, Webb has done all he can do to make the Pirate bullpen. If he does not make the team the Pirates have to return him to the New York Yankees. However, if he is not chosen to make the club, hopefully, the Pirates can work out a trade with the Yankees to keep him in the organization. Webb would be a nice bullpen depth option to have at Triple-A.

Minor league pitcher Buddy Borden pitched the ninth inning for the Pirates. In his one inning of work, Borden walked a batter, allowed a single, and struck out three.

In an interesting move, Adam Frazier started at second base for the Pirates on Monday while Josh Harrison was at third base. Frazier, who also got some work at shortstop, went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and he drove in two runs. Harrison finished the game 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.

Andrew McCutchen started in right field and went 1-for-3 with a solo home run. Most encouraging was that McCutchen’s home run was to right-center field, which has always been his hot spot in his Major League career. Starling Marte was in center field and went 0-for-3, first baseman David Freese was 0-fro-2, and Philip Gosselin was 0-for-1.

Alen Hanson, who is competing for the final bench spot, started in left field and went 1-for-2 with a walk. However, Hanson made some very poor base running mistakes in the game. He was caught stealing once and also got picked off. Poor base running has also been an issue for him throughout the minors.

Next: Notes From The Neal Huntington Show (3/26)

Tomorrow, the Pirates will play the Boston Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM. Tomorrow’s game, like tonight’s, will be broadcast on ROOT Sports.

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