Grapefruit League Game 10: Pittsburgh Pirates 9, Minnesota Twins 3
The Pittsburgh Pirates played game number 10 of 33 on their 2018 Grapefruit League schedule on Sunday afternoon
On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Minnesota Twins by a score of 9-3. With the win, the Bucs are now 3-5-2 in Grapefruit League play this spring. This also gave the Pirates consecutive victories for the first time this spring.
Jameson Taillon started for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, this was Taillon’s second appearance of Grapefruit League play.
Taillon allowed a double to Brian Dozier to start the bottom of the 1st inning. Dozier then advanced to third base on a wild pitch that catcher Elias Diaz lost in the dirt. Dozier would score on a Joe Mauer sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 1-0 lead after an inning of play.
After issuing a walk to Mitch Garver and allowing another double to Dozier, Taillon had runners on second and third and 1 out in the bottom of the 3rd inning. After a second Mauer sacrifice fly, the Twins led 2-0 and Taillon’s day was done. Non-roster invitee Richard Rodriguez then struck out Miguel Sano to end the frame.
In 2 2/3 innings pitched Taillon allowed a pair of runs on the Dozier doubles, he issued just the single walk, and did not record a strikeout. At one point he retired 7 consecutive batters and, outside of the Dozier doubles, allowed zero hard contact on Sunday.
Michael Feliz entered the game for the Pirates in the bottom of the 4th inning and allowed his first run of the spring. After drawing a 2-out walk, Byron Buxton recorded a stolen base that was aided by an Elias Diaz drop. This led to a Max Kepler RBI single to make the score 3-0 Twins. He then stuck out Eddie Rosario to end the 4th inning.
Christopher Bostick doubled to start the top of the 5th inning. This led to an Erich Weiss sacrifice fly that cut the Minnesota lead to 3-1.
In the top of the 6th inning, the Pirates would score again. Josh Harrison reached on an infield hit to start the inning and a Gregory Polanco single put runners on the corners with no one out. Then, Colin Moran delivered a bloop single to score Harrison making the score 3-2.
After Jordy Mercer struck out looking, Elias Diaz launched a home run to left field. His first long ball of the spring gave the Pirates a 5-3 lead.
After pitching a 1-2-3 bottom of the 5th inning, Steven Brault returned to the mound in the bottom of the 6th inning. Brault would turn in another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 6th.
After Tyler Eppler fired a 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th inning, the Pirates loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the 8th inning. After Todd Cunningham scored on a wild pitch to extend the Pirate lead to 6-3, Christian Kelley drew a walk to re-load the bases. The Bucs would add on a 7th run when Jason Martin grounded into a double play.
Eppler took the mound once again in the bottom of the 8th inning and fired another perfect inning. In 2 perfect inning of work on Sunday afternoon, Eppler struck out 3 batters.
In the top of the 9th inning the Pirate offense kept humming along. After singles by Austin Meadows and Max Moroff, Todd Cunningham doubled home Meadows to make the score 8-3 Pirates. An Eric Wood single would make the score 9-3 Pirates.
Alex McRae pitched the bottom of the 9th for the Pirates to close out the 9-3 Bucco victory.
Next: Who should get the final Pirate bench spot?
Notable offensive performances included Adam Frazier and Josh Harrison both going 2-for-3, this included a double by Harrison, while Chris Bostick, Colin Moran, and Gregory Polanco all went 1-for-3. Jordy Mercer went 0-for-3, Austin Meadows and Max Moroff both finish 1-for-2.
Next up for the Pirates is a trip to Lake Buena Vista on Monday to battle the Atlanta Braves. First pitch from Champion Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 Monday afternoon. Chad Kuhl will make the start for the Bucs.