Pirates use Sixth Inning Surge to Earn 5-2 Victory over Twins
The Pittsburgh Pirates (2-5) earned their second win of spring training over the Minnesota Twins (3-6) with a 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon.
The Pirates drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning.
Carlos Santana drew a leadoff walk, and after a strikeout by Jack Suwinski and a ground out by Cal Mitchell, Rodolfo Castro came to the plate with two outs and a runner on second.
Castro hit a comebacker up the middle, driving in Santana and giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. That RBI was Castro’s fifth of spring training, which leads the team.
J.T. Brubaker had an extremely solid outing for the Pirates Sunday afternoon.
Brubaker induced 12 swings and misses in his three innings of work and maxed out at 95 mph. On Sunday afternoon, Brubaker’s top swing and miss pitch was his slider, with seven whiffs out of 11 swings total.
Brubaker’s pitch mix was a sinker (49%), slider (34%), curveball (10%), changeup (5%), and four-seam (2%).
Brubaker’s final line read three innings pitched, one hit, no earned runs, no walks, and four strikeouts on 41 pitches.
Left-handed pitcher Angel Perdomo replaced Brubaker in the fourth inning and instantly gave up a leadoff homer to Jose Miranda, making it a tie ball game.
Utility man Chris Owings gave the Pirates a Bradenton special with an opposite-field two-run home run, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth.
Owings homer had an xBA of just .180 with a launch angle of 38 degrees. It goes to show how the wind can be a player’s best friend.
Miranda had himself a game after hitting his second homer in the top of the sixth off of a middle-middle sinker from Jose Hernandez, cutting the Pirates’ lead to 3-2.
The very next half inning, the Pirates added to their lead with a two-RBI single from Mitchell, driving in Suwinski and Henry Davis.
The Pirates led 5-2 through the sixth.
The top hitter for the Pirates Sunday afternoon was Castro, going two for three with an RBI. The Pirates, as a team, recorded eight hits, drew two walks, and struck out 13 times.
As a little side note, Andrew McCutchen was removed from the game after getting hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. The Pirates have said he was removed with left-hand discomfort.
Perdomo, Holderman, Hernandez, Duane Underwood Jr, Caleb Smith, and Dauri Moreta combined to go six innings while giving up five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts.
The Pirates will square off against the New York Yankees Monday night, where Luis Ortiz will face Domingo German. First pitch in Tampa will be 6:35 p.m.