Nick Kingham throws five scoreless innings as Pirates beat Rays
Nick Kingham did his best to put his stamp on the search for a fifth starter, pitching five scoreless innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kingham retired the first 11 batters he faced and allowed two hits and two walks while striking out five, as the Pittsburgh Pirates scored off a pair of former pitchers in a 4-2 victory Monday in a Grapefruit League game in Port Charlotte. Kingham also pitched four scoreless innings against Boston on March 6.
After the Pirates named Erik Gonzalez and Jung Ho Kang their starters at shortstop and third base, they wasted no time trying Kevin Newman and Colin Moran at new positions. Newman started at second base and Moran at first, with Pablo Reyes at short and Patrick Kivlehan at third.
When Jacob Stallings drew a leadoff walk and Alfredo Reyes singled to right off Charlie Morton in the sixth inning, the Rays replaced him with reliever Casey Sadler. J.B. Shuck singled to left off Sadler to score Stallings and Reyes for a 2-0 lead. Shuck, who went 2 for 5, is hitting .371 (12 for 37) in 16 games this spring.
The Rays responded with a Brandon Lowe RBI double off reliever Kyle Crick in the bottom of the sixth to score Tommy Pham and make it 2-1.
Stallings added an RBI single off Sadler in the seventh, scoring Melky Cabrera for a 3-1 lead. Stallings went 1 for 2, with two walks, two runs scored and an RBI. Pablo Reyes drove Stallings in with a single to center in the ninth inning for a 4-1 lead.
Garrett Whitley hit a two-out double to left off Jake Barrett to score Emilio Bonifacio in the bottom of the ninth to make it 4-2.
Steven Brault is scheduled to start against left-hander Matthew Boyd when the Pirates play the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday at LECOM Park in Bradenton. Felipe Vazquez, Francisco Liriano and Rookie Davis also are expected to pitch. The game will be broadcast on AT&T Sportsnet and KDKA-AM.
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .