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Pirates Spring Preview: Pérez, Gonzales Get Starts in Split-Squad



Marco Gonzales, Pittsburgh Pirates

In the famous words of the late great Ernie Banks, “Let’s play two!” Well, in a way, as the Pittsburgh Pirates have a pair of games on the schedule for Friday as a split-squad.

The Pirates will host the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 ET at LECOM Park. They will also travel to CoolToday Park for a matchup with the Atlanta Braves, also at 1:05 ET.

In their game against the Twins, Martín Pérez will make his second start of the spring. Pérez last pitched against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday and fared well. In that game, he went three innings and allowed one run on one hit (a solo home run). He did not walk a batter and struck out three.

Andrew McCutchen will get his second spring appearance in the top spot of the lineup.

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup vs. Twins

  1. Andrew McCutchen DH
  2. Bryan Reynolds LF
  3. Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B
  4. Jack Suwinski CF
  5. Rowdy Tellez 1B
  6. Joshua Palacios RF
  7. Liover Peguero SS
  8. Tsung-Che Cheng 2B
  9. Jason Delay C

The Pirates will face right-hander Louie Varland. Through two appearances so far this spring, Varland is 1-0 and has yet to allow a run in four innings of work. He’s struck out six.

The home game against the Twins will be televised on SportsNet Pittsburgh.

In the Pirates’ other game against Atlanta, Gonzales will also make his second start of the spring. Gonzales faced the Braves on Feb. 27 and allowed three runs on six hits in 1.2 innings pitched. He’ll now get a second chance against the same team in search of better results.

Billy McKinney, who is riding an eight-game on-base streak, will bat sixth and play first base.

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup vs. Braves

  1. Jared Triolo SS
  2. Connor Joe RF
  3. Edward Olivares CF
  4. Ali Sánchez C
  5. Gilberto Celestino LF
  6. Billy McKinney 1B
  7. Canaan Smith-Njigba DH
  8. Alika Williams 3B
  9. Sergio Alcántara 2B

The Braves will start left-hander Max Fried, an All-Star in 2022. Fried has made one appearance on the spring and has two scoreless innings under his belt.


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