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Pirates upend Red Sox, 3-2

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Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Pirates scored three runs in the ninth inning today to edge the Boston Red Sox, 3-2.

With one out, Pedro Alvarez lined a pinch-hit, RBI double off Richie Lentz. It was Alvarez's first hit of spring training.

With runners on second and third and one out, Andy Phillips was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Steve Lerud's ground out tied the game, 2-2. Brian Bixler reached on an error, which allowed Alvarez to score the winning run.

Tyler Yates (1-0) tossed a scoreless eighth inning for the victory. Mike James (0-1) took the loss.

Right-hander Ian Snell gave up two unearned runs in the first inning. Dustin Pedroia and J.D. Drew walked. With two outs, shortstop Brian Bixler bobbled a grounder by Jason Varitek, loading the bases.

It was scored an error, though it was a tough play. Bixler was breaking toward second base and the ball was hit to his right. Bixler skidded as he reversed his path, and fumbled the grounder.

Jeff Bailey's two-out, bloop single scored both runs.

After Nick Green's leadoff single in the second, the Red Sox did not get another hit until the eighth. Snell, Ross Ohlendorf, Jimmy Barthmaier, Denny Bautista and Sean Burnett combined to retire 18 straight batters.

Snell gave up two hits and two walks, and got two strikeouts. He threw 49 pitches in two innings.

"I kept the ball down pretty good," Snell said. "I was making good pitches; I guess I was just missing a little bit. I kept everything down and I threw all my pitches."

After the game, general manager Neal Huntington issued a statement about free agent Doug Mientkiewicz, who today signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Huntington denied reports the Pirates had not offered Mientkiewicz a contract.

"We had ongoing dialogue with Doug Mientkiewicz and his (agent) about coming to spring training with the Pirates," Huntington said. "Similar to last year, We offered Doug a minor league contract with a chance to come to major league spring training to make our club and showcase himself for other clubs. Doug chose the Dodgers because he felt he had a better chance to make that club."

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