The pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates remained on the upswing today, as Chase De Jong continues to make his case, as he pitched 3.2 innings, giving up just a single hit while striking out 2 before passing off to a Bucs bullpen that was equally effective in bringing home the 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins this afternoon in Bradenton, Florida.
The staff combined for a three-hitter today, giving up only singles to Luis Arraez and Willians Astudillo and a triple to center from Andrew Romine in the 6th off a four-seam fastball from Michael Feliz, who finished with the victory. The Buccos used some nifty defense to get out of the jam, however, when Wilmer Difo snagged a liner by next batter Arraez, and Difo flipped to Ke’Bryan Hayes for the final out of the inning on a double play.
The rest of Pittsburgh’s relief was on point as well, as Kyle Crick struck out 2 batters in his lone inning, Sam Howard struck out 1 in a single inning before handing it off Roansy Contreras, who struck out the Twins side in the ninth for the save.
Contreras is another who’s making a case, as he’s now struck out 5 batters in just 2 innings pitched on the spring and has yet to give up a single hit.
As for the day at the plate for the Pirates, they were a little less effective there, garnering just 6 hits on the afternoon. However, one of them was a solo homer by Adam Frazier in the bottom of the sixth, and when your pitching staff is on cruise control like the Pirates were today, that’s all that they needed.
Frazier was the only multi-hit guy today, as he went 2-for-3, while the Buccos also got hits from Hayes, Difo, Erik Gonzalez, and Brian Goodwin.
Pittsburgh now moves above .500 in spring play, as they go to 11-10 in the Grapefruit League, with the pitching staff showing enough signs of life to head into the regular season with some optimism of better days ahead for us Buccs fans.
The Pirates waste no time getting back in action, as they will play every day from here on out for the rest of the spring. They’ll be taking on the Atlanta Braves tomorrow, who share the same 11-10 record with Pittsburgh. The game will be live on AT&T Sports Net at 1:05pm, so make sure you stop back to Bucs Dugout tomorrow to check out the game chat.
Nice win today, Bucs! Jolly Roger time! And maybe a celebratory beer and some burgers on the grill on this fine Pittsburgh afternoon.