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Oneil Cruz Hits First Homer But Pirates Walked Off by Tigers



Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates

Oneil Cruz hit his first home run of the spring, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates from losing to the Detroit Tigers 8-7 on Wednesday in a Grapefruit League game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.

Cruz hit a two-run opposite-field shot in the fifth inning, measured at 355 feet. He batted leadoff for the third time and is 3-for-8 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Pirates (1-3) lost when the Tigers’ Nick Maton hit a walk-off solo home run off minor-league callup Osvaldo Bido in the ninth inning.

Travis Swaggerty hit a three-run home run for the Pirates in the eighth inning to tie the game at 7-all.

Johan Oviedo was touched for four runs and five hits in the first inning then worked a perfect second.

Duane Underwood followed and struck out the side in the third on 11 pitches in the third inning. Non-roster left-hander Daniel Zamora gave up a two-run home run to Tyler Nevin in the seventh inning.

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Liover Peguero hit a run-scoring single to give him four RBIs in three games.

Catching prospect Endy Rodriguez started at first base and went 1 for 2 with a double. He made just three appearances at the position last season in the minor leagues.

The Pirates play split-squad games Thursday, hosting the New York Yankees at 1:05 p.m. in Bradenton and visiting the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. in Dunedin. Mitch Keller will start against the Yankees and Roansy Contreras will face the Blue Jays.

The game against the Yankees will be televised by AT&T SportsNet. The matchup with the Blue Jays will be broadcast by 100.1 FM/AM 1020 KDKA and the Pirates Radio Network.


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