Travis Swaggerty recorded two more hits and an RBI for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the Bucs fell to the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 at LECOM Park in Bradenton.
Down in Fort Myers, for the Pirates other game, Pittsburgh drew even at 2-2 with the Minnesota Twins for the club’s third tie of the spring.
Swaggerty collected a base hit in each of his two at-bats on the afternoon, raising his average to .368 in the process.
Ji-Man Choi drove in two runs on a base hit to right field, while Oneil Cruz and Carlos Santana each finished the game 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Ryan Vilade drove in Nick Gonzales with two outs in the ninth to cut the deficit to one, but the Pirates were unable to do any additional damage.
Endy Rodriguez finished the game 2 for 2 with a pair of singles while Austin Hedges and Jared Triolo each hit doubles for the Pirates.
A poor defensive afternoon in center from Jack Suwisnki led to five earned runs on Rich Hill’s ledger. Suwinski misplayed two flyballs which helped to open up the floodgates for Baltimore. Hill completed three innings and struck out a pair.
Mike Burrows struck out three in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. The Orioles plated two runs off of Cody Bolton in the seventh inning to take the lead.
Against the Twins, right-handed pitching prospect Kyle Nicolas started the game and allowed one run across 2.2 innings. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out one.
Canaan Smith-Njigba registered his first home run of the spring with a fourth-inning solo shot to right field. In addition to his homer, Smith-Njigba also drew a walk at the plate.
The Pirates were able to tie the game 2-2 in the eighth inning when Matt Gorski plated Matt Fraizer with an RBI-single.
Chris Owings singled and drew a walk in his two trips to the plate. He now carries a .935 OPS on the spring. The newly-acquired Mark Mathias made his Pirates’ debut at second base and went 0 for 3.
Next up, the Pirates (4-11-3) travel to Dunedin for a Wednesday afternoon matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays. JT Brubaker is expected to start for the Pirates.