Grapefruit League Game 13: Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Detroit Tigers 3

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Starling Marte
BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Starling Marte /

The Pittsburgh Pirates played their 13th of 33 Grapefruit League games on Thursday afternoon

After an 8-3 victory on Thursday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 4-7-2 in Grapefruit League play. This victory came against the team that will be their Opening Day opponent – the Detroit Tigers.

In his second start of the spring, Nick Kingham pitched 3 innings on Thursday afternoon. Kingham struggled with control and was burnt by some poor defense. However, he did a nice job of limiting damage.

Kingham allowed 3 runs, 2 of which were unearned due to errors, on 5 hits, a pair of walks, and a pair of strikeouts in his 3 innings of work. While Kingham will start the season at Triple-A, look for him to make his Major League debut at some point this season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were able to grab an early lead when the team scored a trio of runs in the bottom of the 1st inning.

Starling Marte hit a solo home run to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Then, David Freese belted a 2-run shot making it 3-0 Bucs after an inning of play.

After Felipe Rivero fired a 1-2-3 top of the 4th inning, the Pirate bats went back to work in the bottom of the 4th inning.

With the game now tied at 3, Sean Rodriguez hit a single and then came around to score on a Francisco Cervelli double. This gave the Pirates a 4-3 lead. The Pirate lead grew to 5-3 in the bottom of the 5th inning when Corey Dickerson scored on a sacrifice fly by David Freese.

George Kontos had a scoreless top of the 5th inning with a pair of strikeouts, while Edgar Santana and Kyle Crick each recorded a K while firing a scoreless inning.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, Erich Weiss doubled in Christopher Bostick to make the score 6-3 Pirates. Later in the inning, Weiss would score on a wild pitch from Detroit pitcher Gerson Moreno. This made the score 7-3 Pirates.

The Bucs then made the score 8-3 in the bottom of the 8th inning with another long ball. This time it came from Bryce Brentz. This was Brentz’s first home run of the spring.

With the help of 2 strikeouts, Jack Leathersich worked around a pair of walks to pitch a scoreless top of the 8th inning. Brett McKinney then pitched a scoreless top of the 9th to close out the 8-3 Pirate victory.

Notable offensive performances included Francisco Cervelli going 2-for-2 with a walk a pair of doubles, Corey Dickerson going 2-for-3, and Colin Moran and Sean Rodriguez both went 1-for-3. Additionally, Starling Marte went 1-for-3 with a home run, while David Freese and Bryce Brentz both went 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk. Josh Harrison was 0-for-3 and Jordy Mercer was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Next: A way to improve the Pirate starting rotation

Next up for the Pirates is a trip to Spectrum Field in Clearwater to battle the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM, Steven Brault will start for the Bucs while the Phils go with Jerad Eickhoff.