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4-run 8th inning dooms Pirates in 7-4 loss to Twins

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Jared Wickerham

Chris Leroux allowed four runs in the eighth inning (two of which came in after a two-out throwing error by Pedro Alvarez) to put the game out of reach against the Twins, who defeated the Bucs 7-4 on Wednesday.

Before that, A.J. Burnett allowed two runs in three innings. One scored in the first on a groundout, and then another came in the next inning on an HBP and then a double. Then Jeanmar Gomez pitched 3.2 innings and only allowed one run, striking out three and walking two.

Alvarez homered and went 4-for-5, and Starling Marte continued what has been a strong spring with three hits, so it's a little surprising the Pirates weren't able to score more than four runs. In any case, it's great to see Alvarez have a big game -- throwing error aside -- right before the start of the season. Spring training stats usually don't matter, and they still might not in this case. But it's not hard to see Alvarez continuing a spring training streak into the season.