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Pirates Spring Training

Pirates Continue Homer Barrage in Loss to Tigers



Henry Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh’s offensive onslaught continued on Saturday afternoon, as the team hit four more home runs to add to their spring training league lead, but they couldn’t secure the win as pitching woes sank the Pirates in their 8-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with Liover Peguero drawing a one-out walk to set up an opposite field home run from first baseman Jake Lamb. Detroit drew even in the bottom of the frame starting with a triple from designated hitter Matt Vierling. Gio Urshela singled him home, tagging Ortiz with his first earned run of the spring, then a walk and another single knotted the game at two.

Ortiz and catcher Henry Davis combined for a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play in the second, then Ortiz got Vierling to chase a slider to end the inning.

Canaan Smith-Njigba and Davis each hit solo shots in the third to retake the lead. Ortiz allowed a leadoff walk in the fourth, prompting manager Derek Shelton to sub in Colin Holderman from the bullpen. The right-hander’s spring struggles continued, as the Tigers surged ahead via two singles and a three-run homer from Keston Hiura before Holderman managed to strike out the side.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth but came away empty handed. Detroit added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings, with former Pirates’ minor leaguer Ryan Vilade sparking the first rally with a double.

Abrahan Gutierrez hit his second home run of the spring in the ninth, but the Pirates couldn’t mount a comeback.

Pittsburgh falls to 6-8 in spring training contests this season. They’ll host the Philadelphia Phillies next, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.

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