Pittsburgh jumped on top in the opening round when Starling Marte lasered a triple to left off Jon Lester and come home an out later when Brock Holt, playing third for Boston, made a nifty play on a Cutch grounder but only had one play, to first. The Bucs loaded the sacks in the second with two down, but this time Marte flew out to right.
Jeff Locke finally cracked in the third. With two down, Pedro Ciriaco singled and Holt walked - the two ex-Bucs are battling for a bench spot in Boston - and Jonny Gomes doubled in a run to tie the game. The fourth went by with a little noise but no runs for both clubs, and it was time to call on the bullpens.
The Pirates beat up knuckleballer Steve Wright in the fifth and sixth, scoring five times. Cutch and Pedro had the RBI in the fifth, while Clint Barmes, Jose Tabata and Brad Hawpe produced runs in the next frame. Jared Hughes tossed a 1-2-3 fifth, but Jonathan Sanchez couldn't make it out of his inning. With two down and a runner on second, a walk, sharp single and another walk brought in a tally and jammed the bases. Clint Hurdle tapped his right arm for Phil Irwin, who got Ciriaco on a fly to center and hung around to toss a scoreless seventh.
The Bucs added another pair in their seventh on doubles by Jared Goedert and Lucas May and a single from Carlos Paulino to make it 8-2. Pittsburgh put up another point in the eighth when Rubby De La Rosa threw away a grounder hit by a hustling JT, who later came in on an Alex Presley bouncer. Vin Mazzaro tossed a clean frame.
The Pirates wasted a leadoff double by Matt Hague in the ninth. Boston got their last run off Brooks Brown, who gave up back-to-back opening knocks and a grounder to bring home the last Bosox score. It was a good day in the office today. They'll host Tampa tomorrow at home.
- Starling Marte and JT alternated at the leadoff spot and each scored a pair of runs, while Cutch had two RBI to lead the club. Locke went four frames, giving up a run on three hits and two walks with three whiffs.
- Jonathan Sanchez has walked seven batters in 3-1/3 innings so far this spring.
- Andrew Miller of The Fantasy Fix profiles Pirate righty Jameson Taillon.
- Happy Birthday, Clint Barmes. The SS turned 34 today.