Jameson Taillon strikes out six to lead Pirates past Red Sox
The Pittsburgh Pirates unveiled a lineup that might be a preview for Opening Day, and their ace looked like he was ready.
Right-hander Jameson Taillon, who will start the opener on March 28 at Cincinnati, allowed four hits while striking out six without a walk in five innings as the Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox, 8-1, on Sunday in a Grapefruit League game at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.
The Pirates’ batting order had second baseman Adam Frazier leading off, followed by center fielder Starling Marte, left fielder Corey Dickerson, first baseman Josh Bell, catcher Francisco Cervelli, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall, third baseman Jung Ho Kang, shortstop Erik Gonzalez and Taillon.
Boston scored when 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts reached second on a throwing error by Kang and scored on a single to right by Sandy Leon for a 1-0 lead in the first. But Taillon responded in the bottom of the first with an RBI single off Marcus Walden to score Chisenhall before Kang was thrown out at the plate. Corey Dickeron’s solo homer off Walden in the third gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth, Kang had an RBI groundout and Gonzalez doubled to right to score Chisenhall for a 4-1 lead. Marte crushed a three-run home run, his third in as many games, to left for a 7-1 lead in the sixth. The Pirates added another run in the eighth when Ke’Bryan Hayes scored from second on a Kevin Kramer pop up that dropped near the left-field line to make it 8-1.
Nick Kingham will start against right-hander Charlie Morton when the Pirates play the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 p.m. Monday in Port Charlotte. Kyle Crick, Richard Rodriguez and Tyler Lyons also are scheduled to pitch. Jordan Lyles will throw a four-inning simulated game.
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .