The Bucs and Twins played a see-saw game in Florida today, with the Minnies scoring with two down in the bottom of the eighth. 1B Chris Colabella doubled home Brandon Boggs to score the winner in a 5-4 decision. Kris Johnson took the loss.
The Pirates tried to came back one more time, with hits by Ivan DeJesus and Chase d'Arnaud in the ninth. Unfortunately, they were sandwiched around an around-the-horn DP banged into by Darren Ford after failing to bunt DeJesus to second, and JT's fly to right ended the afternoon's festivities.
Pittsburgh scored first when Anderson Hernandez and Jordy Mercer singled to put runners on the corners and Travis Snider lifted a sac fly to center in the third inning. They added another run the next frame when Felix Pie's two-out knock brought home Garrett Jones.
But Jeanmar Gomez couldn't stand success. After a leadoff single, he walked the next two Twins on eight pitches. Justin Moreau cleaned the sacks with a double to left center and later came in to give the Twin Cities a 4-2 lead.
The Pirates got a run back in the fifth when Snider hit another sac fly, this time after back-to-back knocks by Alex Presley and Mercer. Bryan Augenstine escaped further damaged when Jerry Sands's liner to third was snagged by Jamey Carroll, who caught Mercer off to the races for the DP. Jose Tabata took one yard over the left center field fence in the seventh to tie the score, but it wouldn't be enough.
Kyle McPherson tossed a pair of innings, giving up a hit while hitting 95 on the gun, though his stat line was saved when Jones went up to snare a liner at first and turn it into a DP. So far, Pittsburgh's starting pitchers have thrown seven scoreless innings after the first three Grapefruit League games. Chris Leroux, Phil Irwin, Ryan Reid and Brooks Brown also put up goose eggs in one frame stints today.
Wandy Rodriguez makes his first start of the spring when the Bucs entertain the Orioles at 1:05 tomorrow at McKechnie Field.