Chris Owings scored the winning run for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the bottom of the ninth as the Bucs walked-off the Phillies 4-3 at LECOM Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Down a run in the home half of the ninth, Drew Maggi lined a single into left field, plating Canaan Smith-Njigba, tying the game 3-3.
After a Rodolfo Castro bunt-single loaded the bases, Owings was able to score easily on a Noah Skirrow wild pitch to give the Pirates the win.
Andrew McCutchen had been out the lineup the last handful of games with mild elbow soreness but the injury didn’t seem to be bothering him in his return. McCutchen had two hits including a two-run homer. The home run was first of the spring for McCutchen and his first in a Pirates’ uniform since 2017.
JT Brubaker gave the Pirates five innings and allowed a pair of runs, one of which came on a solo home run to Jake Cave. He allowed four hits, didn’t walk a batter and punched out six Phillies’ batters.
Through his first five starts of the spring spanning 17.1 innings, Brubaker has struck out 26 and has only walked three batters.
In addition to McCutchen, right-hander Robert Stephenson also returned from an injury. Stephenson had been sidelined with right arm discomfort and made his first appearance of the spring. He allowed one run on two hits, two walks and struck out one batter in his one inning of work.
Utility man Mark Mathias was on base twice for Pittsburgh as he singled and drew a walk in three trips to the plate.
Dauri Moreta, Yohan Ramirez and Yerry De Los Santos combined for three scoreless innings of relief with De Los Santos picking up the win.
After an off day on Wednesday, the Pirates (9-13-3) will be back in action on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox in Bradenton. Johan is expected to pitch for the Pirates.