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Pirates Preview: Chance at Back-to-Back Wins to Start the Year

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Jose Hernandez, Henry Davis

The Pittsburgh Pirates (1-0) came from behind to take down the Miami Marlins (0-1) in 12 innings on opening day.

Bryan Reynolds, Edward Olivares and Oneil Cruz all homered for the Pirates, and Jared Triolo delivered the winning run with a base hit to right field in the top of the 12th. Jose Hernandez earned his first-career save in the win.

The Pirates will look to make it two in a row on Friday night with Martín Pérez getting the start in his team debut.

First pitch between the Pirates and Marlins is 7:10 ET. The game will be televised on SportsNet Pittsburgh.

Weather

The Marlins’ home ballpark is covered by a roof, so weather won’t be a factor for this four-game series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Send Out LHP Martín Pérez

Pérez, who was signed by the Pirates as a free agent in the offseason, is coming off of an excellent spring. In four starts, the left-hander allowed one run on eight hits in 15 innings pitched. He struck out a team-high 16 batters.

Last season with the Rangers, Pérez went 10-4 with a 4.45 ERA across 35 appearances/20 starts. He made three appearances in the postseason en route to Texas’ World Series championship.

Pérez’s best season in the big leagues came in 2022, when he was named an All-Star for the first time in his career with Texas. In 32 starts, the soon-to-be 33-year-old went 12-8 with a stellar 2.89 ERA.

In three career appearances against the Marlins, Pérez is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA.

The Miami Marlins Will Send Out LHP A.J. Puk

Puk’s start against the Pirates on Friday will be his first in the big leagues. The Marlins converted the southpaw from a relief role.

Puk was lights out during spring training for Miami. In four starts, he was charged with a pair of earned runs in 13.2 innings and racked up 23 strikeouts.

In 58 relief appearances last season, Puk went 7-5 with a 3.97 ERA and recorded 15 saves. He struck out 78 batters in 56.2 innings pitched. Puk has a 3.72 ERA in four seasons as a big-leaguer.

He’s made four appearances against the Pirates in his career and has allowed four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings.

Marlins Hitters vs. Pérez

  • Avisaíl García: 3 for 10, one RBI, one walk, two strikeouts
  • Christian Bethancourt: 1 for 9, one walk, one strikeout
  • Jake Burger, 2 for 7, one home run, two RBIs
  • Tim Anderson: 2 for 6, one RBI, one strikeout
  • Luis Arráez: 1 for 5, one home run, two RBIs, one walk
  • Nick Gordon: 0 for 3, one strikeout

Pirates Hitters vs. Puk

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes: 1 for 2, one double

Tidbits

  • On Thursday, Edward Olivares became the third Pirates’ player to hit a pinch-hit home run in his first at-bat with the team since 1900.
  • Oneil Cruz’s home run on opening day was his first since last year’s opener against the Cincinnati Reds. He’s the fifth Pirate to homer on back-to-back opening days and the first since Xavier Nady in 2007-08.
  • Bryan Reynolds’ home run was No. 99 in his career.

Links

Depleted Bullpen? No Problem for Pirates on Opening Day

Perrotto: Pirates Running on Empty on Opening Day

Pirates Use Power Surge, Triolo’s Heroics in Comeback Win Over Marlins on Opening Day

Pirates DFA Three Players Ahead of Opener

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