ShareThis Page

Spring training breakdown: Pirates 4, Rays 1

| Saturday, March 11, 2017, 10:36 a.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer tags out the Rays' Time Beckham at second base on a caught stealing during the first inning Friday, March 10, 2017, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Drew Hutchison delivers during the first inning against the Rays Friday, March 10, 2017, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates left fielder Jose Osuna makes a leaping catch at the outfield wall during the fifth inning against the Rays Friday, March 10, 2017, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.

Saturday's game

at Orioles

1:05 p.m.

Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, Fla.

Opp. name starter:

RHP Mike Wright

Pirates starter:

RHP Clay Holmes

Friday's result

Pirates 4, Rays 1

Walk-off: How nondescript is Edwin Espinal? When he entered the game in the sixth inning, the nonroster player on loan from minor league camp was not only wearing the too-high-for-a-serious-Pirates-roster-contender uniform No. 79 – he was an imposter No. 79. The backup No. 79, if you will. (Barrett Barnes has been assigned that this spring). But Espinal ended Friday's game with a homer to left on a 1-0 pitch with two men on. “He told Andy Barkett, our Triple-A manager, if he had another shot (after striking out in the seventh) that he was gonna cash in,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “And he did. It was really cool.” Espinal, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound 23-year-old first baseman, had a .739 OPS at Double-A Altoona last season.

Homer Hutch?: While the totality of Drew Hutchison's start was positive, he did allow a deep home run pulled to right by Tim Beckham in the third inning. “I executed a pitch down and away — and he made a good swing and went with it,” Hutchison said. “I was not too upset about that. Those things happen. Guys are going to make good swings.” Last season in 24 major league innings, opponents hit six home runs off of Hutchison. He has allowed two in eight innings this spring and 59 in 417.1 regular-season innings in his career, including 23 during his only full MLB season (2014).

Osuna stays out: Jose Osuna maintained his .500 Grapefruit League batting average when he went 1 for 2 with another extra-base hit (a double to right). “He's using all of the field — and he's hitting breaking balls, he's hitting fastballs, he's hitting soft stuff,” manager Clint Hurdle said. Osuna also made a nice running catch in left field for his final in-game act of the afternoon, off a ball Beckham hit to end the fifth.

Hot shots: An inordinate number of sharply-hit foul balls (and bats) plagued the LECOM Park seating area (and pressbox) Thursday. First-base coach Kimera Bartee, for instance, made a barehanded snag on a hard chopper hit right at him. A potentially ugly scene was avoided when an older female fan was struck by a flying bat that Max Moroff had lost his grip on. It flew well into stands eight rows up. Multiple paramedics came out to check on the fan, but she remained in her seat and appeared to be fine.

— Chris Adamski

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.