Pittsburgh Pirates fall in spring training opener to Minnesota 5-3

Henry Davis had a pair of hits while five of seven Pirates pitchers posted scoreless innings in a 5-3 loss to Minnesota on Saturday.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages
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Pirates pitchers have quality afternoon against Twins

The Pirates used seven different pitchers on Saturday in the loss to Minnesota and for the most part it was a quality afternoon for the Buccos.

As mentioned prior, Falter got the start for the Pirates, he went two innings allowing two earned runs across four hits. He also struck out three. Falter enters this spring with no options left and is competing for a spot in the back of the Pirate rotation.

One of the Pirates' top pitching prospects, Jared Jones, was the first man up following Falter's two innings pitched and the former second-round pick had himself an easy inning. In his lone inning of work Jones allowed one run while getting a pop up, groundout, and a lineout. The 22-year-old starter did a good job of working around and near the zone in his lone inning of work as well with nine strikes on 15 total pitches.

Josh Fleming and Jose Hernandez were the next two up for the Pirates out of the pen.

Fleming who was signed by the Pirates as a free agent earlier this month worked a scoreless fourth inning allowing one hit while Hernandez struck out the side while walking one in a scoreless fifth inning.

The toughest performance of the afternoon belonged to 25-year-old right-hander Kyle Nicolas. In his lone inning of work, Nicolas allowed three runs across three hits including a three-run home run by Twins left fielder Daulton Shuffield to put the Twins up 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth.

Nicolas is hoping to find a spot in the Pirates pen at some point this season after making four appearances last season, allowing seven earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched.

Michael Plassmeyer and Hunter Stratton would round out the Pirates pitching efforts in the seventh and eighth innings respectively, both pitching scoreless innings.

As a team, the Pirates' pitching staff allowed 10 hits on the afternoon while walking one and striking out nine.