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Defensive struggles help lead to Pirates' 8-2 loss

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USA TODAY Sports

The much-ballyhooed pitching lineup of A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, Gerrit Cole, Jason Grilli and others didn't have much to write home about today, as the Bucs lost 8-2 to the Rays, although that had a lot to do with some poor defense on the Pirates' part. Neil Walker, Brad Hawpe (an unnecessary picture of whom you can view above), Pedro Alvarez (who dropped a pop fly) and Grilli all committed errors, and three of the runs against Pirates pitchers were unearned. Burnett and Cole also each had a wild pitch.

Cole pitched two innings and allowed one run, which came after he walked Desmond Jennings. Jennings stole second and third off Cole and Michael McKenry, then came home on a sacrifice fly.

The Pirates also struck out eight times and walked once. Hawpe had two of those whiffs -- it wasn't his best game, which is fine. If there's anyone in camp who can play badly without it meaning anything whatsoever, it's Hawpe.

Jose Tabata hit two doubles in his two at bats and now is 3-for-6 with a homer and two doubles this spring.

Standard disclaimer! None of this means much. Et cetera. And Jameson Taillon starts tomorrow, so there's no reason to feel deflated.