The Pittsburgh Pirates (8-10) and Boston Red Sox (10-7) met Sunday afternoon at JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers, FL. The Pirates sent out newcomer Wil Crowe to take on Boston’s Nick Pivetta.
The Pirates were able to get on the board first Sunday in the top of the second inning when Will Craig score on a passed ball. Adam Frazier followed that up with a double, which plated a pair of runs and staked Pittsburgh to an early 3-0 advantage.
Alex Verdugo singled in a run in the bottom of the third inning off the starter Crowe — that was the only run he’d give up on the afternoon. Crowe finished with 3.2 innings pitched, allowing four hits, the aforementioned run, one walk, and two strikeouts.
Frazier got to work again in the top of the fourth inning. Although he grounded out, he was able to bring in a run and secure an RBI in the process, boosting the Pirate lead to 4-1. Ke’Bryan Hayes drove in a pair during that same inning with a single up the middle, allowing the Pirates to grow their lead to 6-1. Pivetta would be tagged for all six of those runs; those came off six hits and three walks.
After Wilmer Difo drove in a run in the sixth, Bryan Reynolds added a bit more insurance thanks to his third homer of the spring — it was a two-run shot that scored Oneil Cruz. Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Pirates’ lead had swelled to 9-1.
A Kevin Plawecki singled scored one for Boston before a throwing error scored a second, both of which came in the seventh inning. Triston Casas added what would be the final run for the Red Sox when he grounded out and brought in a run on the play.
Of note, Frazier went 2-for-4, which includes a pair of doubles; he also drove in three runs. Hayes also went 2-for-4 and picked up two RBIs in the process. One of his two hits was a triple.
Clay Holmes pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings. Nick Mears also contributed a final scoreless frame in the effort to secure a preseason win.
With the win, the Pirates improved to 9-10 during Spring Training, while the Red Sox fell to 10-8. The Bucs will return to the field tomorrow afternoon to square off with the Baltimore Orioles.
That game is scheduled to have a 1:05 start time and will be played at LECOM Park in Bradenton, FL. For Baltimore, John Means (0-1, 5.40 ERA, 8 Ks) will be on the bump to kick things off. For Pittsburgh, Mitch Keller (0-1, 21.60, 6 Ks) will start in what will be one of his final few tuneups before the regular season kicks off on April 1.