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Pirates Spring Game Recap: Home Run Barrage Continues in Win Over Rays



Pittsburgh Pirates, Bryan Reynolds

Things looked bleak early, but home runs from Bryan Reynolds, Jared Triolo and Gilberto Celestino lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-8 over the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park on Friday afternoon.

Tampa (2-5) struck for three runs in the first inning off of starter Mitch Keller on a pair of run-scoring hits and a sacrifice fly.

Reynolds got the Pirates (2-4) a run back in the bottom of the opening frame with a long home run to left field, his second of the spring.

The following inning, Triolo connected on a three-run home run to left field to put the Pirates ahead 4-3. Triolo is slashing .400/.455/.800 so far this spring.

With the Pirates already leading by three runs in the seventh, Gilberto Celestino blasted a grand slam to left field to put the Pirates ahead 12-5. Earlier, Celestino drove in a run with a base hit through the left side of the infield.

In the third inning, Liover Peguero bounced into a fielder’s choice, which allowed Ke’Bryan Hayes to score. Hayes drove in a run in the bottom of the fifth on a double to the right-center gap.

Kyle Nicolas and Jose Hernandez each allowed a run out of the bullpen for the Pirates.

The Pirates always seemed to have an answer whenever the Rays struck for a run. They scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Jason Delay drove in a run with a groundout before Celestino’s single.

The Rays scored three runs off of Sean Sullivan in the ninth before being replaced by Cameron Junker, who recorded the final out.


  • Jared Triolo finished his afternoon 1 for 2 with a home run, three RBIs, two runs scored and a walk. He also made a couple nice plays at second base.
  • Ji Hwan Bae went 1 for 1 with a walk and two runs. Rowdy Tellez was on base twice on one single and a walk.
  • Termarr Johnson finished 1 for 2 and has reached base safely in six of his last eight plate appearances.
  • Mitch Keller’s second start of the spring didn’t go as well as his first. He allowed three runs on four hits in two-plus innings pitched. Keller walked two and struck out just as many.
  • Wily Peralta worked a pair of scoreless innings in relief of Keller and struck out one batter.


The Pittsburgh Pirates will take a trip to Lakeland for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Detroit Tigers. Roansy Contreras will make his second start of the spring as he looks to earn a spot in the opening day rotation. Veteran right-hander Jack Flaherty will start for the Tigers. First pitch: 1:05 ET.

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