clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pedro Alvarez, Jung-Ho Kang key Pirates win in Spring Training opener

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates defeated the Blue Jays 8-7 in their first official Spring Training game of the year.

As I'll say way more times than I need to over the next month, Spring Training doesn't mean a whole lot. But it was fun to see the Bucs win their first game, and in particularly fun fashion -- Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer to left in the first (then added a double later on a fly ball that a Blue Jays outfielder lost in the sun), and Jung-Ho Kang displayed his power with a third-inning solo homer off Marco Estrada in his very first spring game. Elias Diaz also hit a solo homer in the sixth.

As exciting as the Kang homer was, Alvarez's performance was perhaps even better, if only because we've seen him go 0-for-spring before and then carry that futility into the season. A single good spring game doesn't prove that won't happen again, but it's a good start.

On the pitching side, the Pirates went with a series of more marginal hurlers, and the Jays nearly came back to win it off Ryan Beckman in the ninth. After Casey Sadler pitched two scoreless innings, Stolmy Pimentel and Josh Wall had rough outings, not that those are worth worrying about this far before the start of the season.