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Pirates Spring Game Recap: McCutchen Homers in Win Over Twins, Bucs Tie Braves in Split-Squad

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen

The Pittsburgh Pirates split up their roster on Friday afternoon, hosting the Minnesota Twins and LECOM Park and traveling to North Port, Fla., for a matchup with the Atlanta Braves.

The Pirates bested the Twins 6-3, a game in which Andrew McCutchen hit his first home run of the spring. Pittsburgh drew even 6-6 with Atlanta.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Minnesota Twins

McCutchen belted a 418-foot blast to center field to put the Pirates ahead 2-1 in the home-half of the sixth. In the bottom of the fourth, Ke’Bryan Hayes connected on a solo homer, his third of the spring, to break a scoreless tie. Minnesota answered in the top of the fifth on a Trevor Larnach homer.

Austin Martin evened the score in the seventh inning with an RBI-double to left. One batter later, Larnach drove in Martin with a base hit to right.

Jason Delay quickly responded in the seventh inning on a run-scoring single to left. He drove in Jake Lamb, who split the gap in right-center for a double.

Lamb’s RBI-single to right capped off a three-run eighth inning which saw the Pirates go up by three. Prospect Matt Fraizer doubled off the wall in center to plate a run, and Jackson Glenn later came in to score on a wild pitch.

Chase Anderson sealed the win by covering the final two innings in order.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes finished 2 for 2 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
  • Andrew McCutchen’s home run gives him two hits in five at-bats so far this spring.
  • Martín Pérez threw four-scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. He walked two and struck out a pair.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves

Jarred Kelenic opened the scoring on a groundout with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning..

Canaan Smith-Njigba’s solo home run in the second inning evened the scored. The Pirates went ahead 3-1 on a two-run double off the bat of Billy McKinney and added another on a Smith-Njigba sacrifice fly.

The Braves added two runs to their total in the bottom of the fourth. Orlando Arcia scored on a fielding error committed by third baseman Alika Williams and Ozzie Albies drew a walk with the bases loaded.

Gilberto Celestino and McKinney each delivered RBI-singles in the fifth inning to push the Pirates ahead 6-3.

The Braves erased their three-run deficit on a three-run home run from Luis Liberato in the bottom of the seventh inning.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

  • Billy McKinney finished 2 for 3 with a double, a walk and three runs driven in. He’s reached base safely in nine consecutive games.
  • Gilberto Celestino singled in each of his two at-bats and drew a pair of walks. He had one RBI and scored a run. Edward Olivares went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Ali Sánchez finished 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
  • Termarr Johnson singled in his only at-bat and raised his spring batting average to .500 (7 for 14).
  • Marco Gonzales surrendered three runs (two earned) on six hits, one walk and one strikeout in 3.1 innings pitched.

UP NEXT

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be back to one game on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland. Luis Ortiz will be the Pirates’ starter and will be opposite right-hander Matt Manning. First pitch: 1:05 ET.

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