Carlos Santana, Lolo Sanchez Homer For Pirates in 7-2 Win Over Blue Jays
Carlos Santana and Lolo Sanchez each homered for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 at LECOM Park in Bradenton on Tuesday.
Santana’s two-run, opposite-field homer in the third inning was his first of the spring and put the Pirates ahead 2-0 early.
Sanchez, the Pirates’ 23-year-old outfield prospect, led off the bottom of the eight inning with a solo blast to left.
Andrew McCutchen returned to the Pirates’ lineup after being removed from a game over the weekend with left hand discomfort. McCutchen recorded his first hit of the spring with an infield single and also drew a walk in three trips to the plate.
The Pirates took the lead for good in the seventh inning when Tyler Heineman hit a ball to right-center field which was misplayed — allowing prospect Nick Gonzales to score from first. Gonzales later drove in a run with an RBI-single in the eighth.
The Pirates plated two more after Endy Rodriguez reached second base on an error by Blue Jays right fielder Zach Britton.
After getting roughed up a bit in his last outing against the Yankees, Mitch Keller blanked the Blue Jays across three innings of work in the start. He struck out three Toronto batters, one of which came after right fielder Nathan Lukes didn’t get set in the batter’s box in time.
Chase De Jong, Daniel Zamora, Carmen Mlodzinski, Tyler Chatwood and Cody Bolton all tossed scoreless innings in relief.
The Blue Jays’ two runs came after Bryan Reynolds lost a ball in the sun in the right-center gap in the fifth inning. Prospect Mike Burrows was charged with a pair of earned runs as a result.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 3-6-2 on the spring. Vince Velasquez is expected to start for the Bucs.
The Pirates will face the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in Sarasota with first pitch coming at 1:05.
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