Pittsburgh Pirates: Oneil Cruz & Travis Swaggerty Go Deep in Grapefruit League Loss

Feb 25, 2023; Bradenton, Florida, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (15) fields the ball
Feb 25, 2023; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (15) fields the ball / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Johan Oviedo was working on his sinker, while Oneil Cruz and Travis Swaggerty each hit a home run in an 8-7 Grapefruit League loss for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday

Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Detroit Tigers 8-7 in Grapefruit League action. With the loss, the Pirates have fallen to 1-3 thus far this spring in Grapefruit League play.

Johan Oviedo made his first Grapefruit League appearance and started for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Oviedo struggled in the 1st inning allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, but he bounced back to pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 2nd inning.

Oviedo is looking to work on a sinker this spring. Working on his nice pitch and throwing it at a high rate was part of Oviedo's 1st inning struggles on Wednesday. This is a fien example of why spring training results often times can mean very little.

Chase De Jong and Duane Underwood Jr., both included on our latest Opening Day roster projection, each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Underwood Jr. pitched a 1-2-3 3rd inning, striking out all three batters he faced. De Jong walked two batters, but struck a batter out while pitching 1.1 scoreless innings.

Non-roster invitee Caleb Smith who is competing for an Opening Day roster spot allowed a solo home run, while walking a batter and striking a batter out 1.2 innings pitched. After Daniel Zamora allowed a 2-run home run in his inning pitched, veteran non-roster invitee Juan Minaya pitched a scoreless 8th inning. Osvaldo Bido then allowed a walk-off home run in the 9th.

Offensively, Oneil Cruz and Travis Swaggerty led the way for the Pirates. Batting lead off once again, Cruz went 2-for-3 with a stolen base, a run scored, two RBI, and his 1st home run of the spring. Swaggerty was 1-for-2 with a 3-run home run, also his 1st of the spring.

Liover Peguero took over for Cruz, going 1-for-2 with a RBI continuing his strong start to the spring. Starting at first base, Endy Rodriguez was 1-for-2 with a double a run scored. Infield prospect Nick Gonzales had a walk, a hit, and scored a run in two trips to the plate. Jack Suwinski, Ji-Hwan Bae and Rodolfo Castro were all 0-for-3.

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