Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-3 as the Pirates beat the Red Sox at Fort Myers Friday, 7-4.
Shairon Martis started the game and looked functional but uninspiring, topping out at 91 MPH and at times struggling a bit to throw strikes.
But for the Pirates, this game was all about hitting. McCutchen singled in the first. Then in the third, he drove in a run with a ridiculously long double -- he stood there admiring it for a second, and in fact it would have left most parks, but thanks to the really high left-field wall at Fenway South (it's even higher than the real Green Monster), it ended up staying in play.
Tony Watson gave up a line-drive solo homer on an inside pitch to David Ortiz. (Watson did not pitch well -- he left several fastballs hanging.) But the Pirates came screaming back after that. The offense owned the Red Sox's pitchers, especially Vicente Padilla, hitting a bunch of balls with authority. In the fifth alone, McCutchen hit another ball off the left-field wall, and Jose Tabata and Clint Barmes had doubles as well.
As the game progressed, the action decreased. The offense tailed off as the starters came out, and the procession of pitchers got a lot less interesting (Ryota Igarashi, Doug Slaten, Daniel McCutchen, Tim Wood ... the Red Sox did some damage off Slaten, which of course means absolutely nothing). Minor-leaguer Gregory Polanco, up from minor-league camp, got an at-bat and looked ridiculous (as you might expect from a guy who played last season in rookie ball) on a Brandon Duckworth breaking ball for strike three. Overall, though, this was a nice game, and the starting offense looked terrific.