After suffering their first loss of spring training on Sunday, the Pirates bounced back with a 5-1 win over the Rays in Port Charlotte on Monday.
Yoshi Tsutsugo picked up his first hit of the spring with a double in the second and later came around to score on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Oneil Cruz demolished a baseball to right field for a homerun, his second of the spring in as many games. He hit a bullet up the middle for a single in the fourth giving him his second hit of the game.
Bryan Reynolds is the man. pic.twitter.com/qJxHlsepkY
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) March 21, 2022
Bryan Reynolds cleared the bases with a triple into the gap in the fourth, extending the Pirates lead to 5-1. Jamie Ritchie, who is fighting for the backup catcher gig, collected a pair of hits and reached base three times. Third base prospect Jared Triolo laced a double down the third base line in his only at-bat.
Zach Thompson, acquired from the Marlins in the Jacob Stallings trade, made his spring debut for the Pirates. It was a rocky start for the right-hander who allowed three straight hits including two doubles and a run in the home half of the first. He escaped further damage pitching out of a bases loaded jam. Thompson looked better in the second and completed two innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Quinn Priester came in for Thompson and allowed a single down the line and a bloop single, but then got Yandy Diaz to bounce into a double play. Priester lost his command and issued back-to-back walks on nine pitches. He then induced a broken bat pop out to end the inning unscathed. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth with help from Daniel Vogelbach, who robbed Brandon Lowe of a hit.
— Young Bucs (@YoungBucsPIT) March 21, 2022
Priester wasn’t the only well-regarded pitching prospect on the mound in this one as Cody Bolton retired the side in order in the sixth, picking up two strikeouts in the process. Bolton, who hasn’t appeared in a professional game since 2019, was hitting mid-90s with his fastball. Tahnaj Thomas walked a pair, but pitched a scoreless seventh.
The Pirates will host the Orioles on Tuesday at LECOM Park in Bradenton.