The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-16-4) couldn’t muster any offense as they nearly get shut out by the Atlanta Braves (16-10) 8-1 Sunday afternoon.
Wil Crowe started the game for the Pirates after Rich Hill suffered some illness before the game, and the Braves struck early.
In the bottom of the first, Austin Riley hit an opposite-field homer to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. The Braves did not relinquish the lead afterward.
Eddie Rosario decided to get in on the fun and blasted his first homer of spring, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead over the Pirates.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Braves added salt to the wound with a bases-loaded walk to Michael Harris II and then a single to right field by Ozzie Albies. The Braves led 5-0 through six.
Eddy Yean came in for the Pirates in the bottom of the seventh and would’ve pitched a scoreless frame if it wasn’t for a passed ball by catcher Omar Alfonzo.
The Braves led the Pirates 6-0.
When all the dust settled, the Braves added two more runs to add insult to injury for an insurmountable 8-0 led over the Pirates.
All but two Pirates pitchers gave up an earned run Sunday afternoon. The two pitchers to give up no earned runs were Duane Underwood Jr in the third, and Noe Toribo in the sixth.
The Pirates’ offense looked dead in the water against stud pitcher Spencer Strider.
Through four innings of work, Strider gave up just two hits, and one walk, while striking out four. In his last start of spring, Strider lowered his ERA to 1.69.
Through nine innings, the Pirates mustered just three hits, struck out nine times, and walked five times in the game.
The Pirates did get some garbage time runs in the top of the ninth as Chris Owings got a sac-fly, cutting the Braves’ lead to 8-1.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will travel to Fort Myers Monday afternoon to face the Minnesota Twins. J.T. Brubaker is scheduled to make his last start of spring training.
Brubaker will face right-handed pitcher Joe Ryan.