The Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays got together on St. Patrick’s Day for a Friday afternoon game and Ji-Man Choi celebtrated the holiday by homering against his former team.
Thanks in part to the home run, the Pirates were able to defeat the Rays 6-2 at LECOM Park in Bradenton.
Choi wasn’t the only Pirates’ player to homer as Canaan Smith-Njigba slugged his second long ball in his last three games with a solo shot in the third inning.
Mason Martin cleared the batter’s eye in center field with a long home run in the eighth to put the Pirates ahead by the final tally of 6-2
Ji-hwan Bae also came up big for the Pirates in this one. He doubled home a run in the second, was hit by a pitch, stole a base and scored a run.
Jack Suwisnki gave the Pirates another one with a sacridice fly in the second, plating Chris Owings.
Nick Gonzales continued his impressive spring at the plate with a hard-hit opposite-field single. A few pitches later, Gonzales easily swiped second base. Gonzales is hitting .409 this spring.
Right-handed pitching prospect Osvaldo Bido was the Bucs’ starter in this one and pitched well. He held Tampa scoreless and hitless in two innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Chase De Jong, Dauri Moreta and Daniel Zamora all tossed scoreless innings of relief for Pittsburgh. Cody Bolton covered the final two frames by blanking the Rays.
Pittsburgh’s pitching staff combiend for 16 strikeouts, their most in a spring training game since 2020 against the Orioles.
The Pirates have won back-to-back games for the first time this spring. Their record now sits at 6-12-3.
Up next, the Pirates will host the Minnesota Twins at LECOM Park on Saturday afternoon. Mitch Keller is expected to be the Pirates’ starter.