Rich Hill’s final spring training start did not go the way he would have wanted as the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated 8-4 by the Minnesota Twins on Monday in Fort Myers.
The veteran left-hander was tagged for seven runs on 11 hits, including a pair of home runs, in 4.2 innings of work. Hill did not walk a batter and punched out three. On the bright side for Hill, he was able to retire the final seven batters he faced.
In the ninth inning, prospect Maikol Escotto hit an opposite-field, three-run shot in his first at-bat of the game.
Jason Delay pushed across the Pirates’ first run of the game after driving in Ke’Bryan Hayes with a base hit in the fourth.
Canaan Smith-Njigba collected two more hits, one of which was a double. He finished the afternoon 2 for 4 and has hit safely in seven of his last eight. Oneil Cruz also hit a double, his third of the spring.
Andrew McCutchen was on base twice for the Pirates — once via walk and once on an infield single.
The trio of Dauri Moreta, Rob Zastryzny and Yerry De Los Santos combined for 2.1 innings of relief to end the game.
The Pirates (9-17-4) will conclude their spring training slate by facing the Twins again with this one coming at LECOM Park in Bradenton. Johan Oviedo is expected to be on the mound for the Bucs.