I understand that it is only spring training, but the last two games for the Pirates have shown some promise for the upcoming year. Fresh off their 10-3 victory the night before, the Pirates continued their offensive surge against the Yankees today in Bradenton with a 7-4 victory. Jose Tabata, Clint Barmes, Neil Walker, and Andrew McCutchen were the projected opening day starters that were in action today.
For the second straight game, the Pirates got off to a quick start in the first inning, this time off of one of the best pitchers in the game. With CC Sabathia on the mound, Tabata and Barmes started the game off with back-to-back singles. With runners on first and second and no outs, McCutchen came up to bat for the first time since signing his six-year, $51.5 million deal, and he delivered. McCutchen found a whole through the left side, allowing Tabata to come around to score.
After the Yankees tied up the score 1-1 in the top of the third, McCutchen and company went back to work. After two quick outs in the bottom of the third, Barmes kept the inning alive with his second single in as many at bats. With a runner on first and two outs, McCutchen delivered yet again, this time with an RBI double.
The Buccos padded their lead with a lone run in the fourth. Walker and Yamaico Navarro both singled sandwiched in between a fly out by Rod Barajas. The Pirates delivered again with runners in scoring position when Walker scored on a force out by Nick Evans, giving the Buccos a 4-1 lead.
One of the brighter spots of the early part of spring training has been Navarro. Navarro all but secured the win in the eighth inning with his two RBI double. He has upped his average to .500 this spring with his 3-4 performance from the plate on Tuesday.
It was also good to see good offensive production from McCutchen and Barmes who both went 2-3 on the day. McCutchen added two RBIs to his stat line.
Last year’s opening day starter Kevin Correia saw his first action of the spring, and was up against the best of the best. Correia went two scoreless innings, with the only blemish being back-to-back walks to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
The Pirates will return to action on Wednesday when they face the Toronto Blue Jays for the third time in the first five games. Jeff Karstens is expected to get the start and is scheduled to pitch three innings. Struggling third basemen, Pedro Alvarez, is also scheduled to be back in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday’s game. Alvarez is hitless in five at-bats this spring. First pitch at McKechnie Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
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About the Author
Written by Drew Karpen
I am a graduate from Clarion University. I am currently the beat reporter for WVU football at ovathletics.com. I work part time as a stringer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and as a producer at WJPA radio station. I also have my weekly column on ovathletics.com. I am from Pittsburgh and my favorite team is the Pirates.