After dropping their first two contests to begin spring training, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday at LECOM Park in Bradenton for their first victory of the spring.
Prospect Nick Gonzales hit a towering home run to left field, his first of the spring. Catcher Jason Delay followed with a no-doubt solo shot of his own the following inning to put Pittsburgh ahead by the final tally of 7-4.
Luis Ortiz made his first start of the spring for the Pirates. In two innings of work, he held the Orioles scoreless on a pair of singles and struck out one batter. The punch out came on a changeup, which is an important pitch for Ortiz’s development this year.
After getting tagged for a pair of homers in his spring debut, David Bednar bounced back with a scoreless frame. The inning was capped off by a strikeout of top prospect Gunnar Henderson.
Fellow reliever Jarlín García also bounced back after a shaky first appearance with a 1-2-3 fourth inning in this one.
Tucupita Marcano and Canaan Smith-Njigba each drove in a pair of runs for Pittsburgh. Smith-Njigba went 1 for 2 with a two-RBI double and a walk while Marcano also went 1 for 2 with a walk.
Outfielder Chavez Young recorded a pair of hits including an RBI-double which put the Pirates ahead 1-0.
Catcher Kevin Plawecki collected a two-bagger as he competes for the backup catcher spot. Henry Davis, who was the team’s designated hitter on Tuesday, singled, scored twice and stole a base.
The Pirates (1-2) will open up their March slate with a trip to Lakeland to face the Detroit Tigers at 1:05. Johan Oviedo is expected to start for the Pirates.