The way Red Sox starter Josh Beckett was mowing down the Bucs, it looked like another long day for the bats.
He tossed four strong frames; John Bowker's second-inning homer was just one of two hits garnered by the Pirates. Brad Lincoln matched goose eggs with him for the first two innings, but Mike Cameron's third-inning double brought home a pair.
A homer by Lars Anderson off Jeff Karstens in the fourth gave Boston a 3-1 lead.
But Beckett went a bridge too far in the fifth. Ronny Cedeno smacked a leadoff homer, and Beckett left the game with the bases juiced. A Neil Walker RBI single, two run double by Pedro and a two run single by Lyle Overbay put Pittsburgh up 7-3.
Darnell McDonald's blast in the sixth off Joel Hanrahan cut into the lead, but the score stayed the same until the eighth, when the Pirates put up a final two-spot. Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew Lambo did the damage with RBI singles. Chris Resop and Chris Leroux shut down Beantown over the final three frames as the Bucs cruised to a 9-4 win.
Pittsburgh had twelve hits, six for extra bases, and went a solid 6-for-15 RISP.
Pittsburgh will visit the Orioles Monday; the starters are scheduled to be Kevin Correia and Jake Arrieta.
-- Pedro Ciriaco got his first spring shot at the hot corner today, and made a couple of dandy plays while showing off a quite impressive arm. The question now is can he hit well enough...?
-- Today's attendance of 6,602 is the largest in the 42-year-history of McKechnie Field.
-- Scott Olsen and Joe Beimel will make their spring debuts Monday after recovering from nagging injuries.
-- Tough year so far for the Zachster. Duke will probably miss 6-8 weeks with broken left hand according to Arizona's GM.