Canaan Smith-Njigba continued to come up big for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they were able to take down the Boston Red Sox by a score of 7-5 on Monday afternoon in Fort Myers.
Smith-Njigba drove in a pair of runs on two opposite-field singles, giving him nine RBIs this spring. The outfielder finished the game with three hits in four trips to the plate. Smith-Njigba has driven in seven runs in his last nine game.
Travis Swaggerty followed the second of Smith-Njigba’s two RBI-base hits with an RBI-single of his own in the fifth inning. Swaggerty now has a team-high 10 RBIs this spring. He’s reached base safely in six consecutive games.
Miguel Andújar slugged his first home run of the spring. The two-run blast, which came in the sixth inning, put the Pirates up 7-2.
The Pirates were able to take advantage of Boston defensive miscues on two occasions. In the first inning, Jack Suwinski reached on an error committed by center fielder Adam Duvall, allowing Ji-hwan Bae to come around to score for the game’s first run. Bae had two hits on the afternoon.
Two innings later, Mark Mathias scored from second on a ball of the bat of Kevin Plawecki. Red Sox left fielder Raimel Tapia was charged with the two-base error.
Rodolfo Castro was on base twice as he singled, walked and scored a pair of runs. Kevin Plawecki doubled as part of a two-hit performance.
Every player in the Pirates’ starting nine reached base safely at least one time.
As has been the case for much of the spring, the Pirates continued to be aggressive on the base paths. Mathias, Castro, Smith-Njigba and Swaggerty all swiped a bag in the win.
Starting pitcher Luis Ortiz worked three innings for Pittsburgh. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked a pair and struck out two.
Duane Underwood Jr. made his first appearance back from team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and allowed just one hit in 1.1 innings on the mound.
Boston scored a run off of left-hander Angel Perdomo in the eighth inning and twice off of Cody Bolton in the ninth.
The Pirates (8-13-3) will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies at LECOM Park. JT Brubaker is expected to pitch for the Pirates.