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Pirates Spring Training

Wil Crowe May Have Found Regular Season Role in Pirates 6-6 Tie With Blue Jays

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As spring training quickly winds down, the Pirates tied the Blue Jays 6-6 in their second-to-last home game at LECOM Park in Bradenton on Friday. The Pirates were down three in the ninth when Tsung-Che Cheng hit a game-tying three-run homer in the to even the score.

Jose Quintana looked better in this game than his first couple starts of the spring. He didn’t allow much hard contact and was pretty aggressive in the zone. He went four innings, allowed two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out one. 33 of his 54 pitches went for strikes. Based on the schedule, Quintana is in line to start the Bucs opener, but nothing is official.

Wil Crowe came in relief of Quintana in a role that may become familiar for him this season. The Pirates are going to have to get creative with their rotation and be mindful of pitcher workloads, and Crowe could be utilized out of the bullpen. One scenario that makes sense, especially earlier in the season, is a “piggyback” situation where he could cover multiple innings if a starter doesn’t work deep into a ball game, as he did today.

Crowe allowed just one hit over his two scoreless innings. He picked up a pair of strikeouts and saw 15 of his 23 pitches go for strikes. He’s allowed just one run on three hits with six strikeouts over his last 4.2 innings. The most important stat during that stretch? No walks, which was a hiccup for Crowe last season.

Jerad Eickhoff pitched another scoreless frame and has now yet to give up a run in his 5.1 innings of work so far this spring. He looks primed to be included on the Pirates roster come Opening Day.

Roberto Perez hit his first homer in a Pirates uniform. He turned on an 0-1 fastball from Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi and sent it into the left field seats.

Bligh Madris came in as a late-inning sub again in this one and proceeded to hit his third home run in just 12 spring training at-bats. It’s easy to see some things to like in Madris, who has a smooth left-handed swing and is capable of driving the ball as he did here.

Daniel Vogelbach collected a pair of singles, both off left-handed pitchers. Kevin Newman reached base twice, once on a hit by pitch and once on a line drive single up the middle. In the least shocking news of the game, Greg Allen was hit by another pitch, the fifth time that’s happened this spring.

The Bucs will head to Fort Myers on Saturday for a 1:05 matchup with the Boston Red Sox.

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