Highlights were few and far between Sunday, as the Pittsburgh Pirates dropped their first Spring Training game in three starts, a 10-4 decision to the Toronto Blue Jays in a Grapefruit League matchup in Dunedin, Fla.
The biggest highlight came in the top of the seventh when first base prospect Mason Martin showed off his prodigious power by golfing a solo home run to right off the Blue Jays’ appropriately named reliever Maximo Castillo.
Mason Martin demolished that baseball. pic.twitter.com/Mv4nBMj051— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) March 20, 2022
But Martin’s blast only brought the Pirates to within 6-3, and after Bligh Madris’ solo homer in the eighth made it 6-4, Toronto put the game away with four in the bottom of the eighth.
Roansy Contreras, the Pirates’ highly touted right-handed pitcher, came on in the eighth inning and, after walking the first hitter he saw on four pitches, he struck out the next batter, induced a ground out, and coaxed an infield pop out to end the inning.
The Bucs managed just seven hits off a parade of Toronto pitchers, with Martin collecting two.
Seven pitchers saw action for the Pirates. Dillon Peters got the start and went two innings, giving up two earned runs and two hits while striking out two.
Bryse Wilson followed and also went two innings but had a bit more difficulty, as he surrendered five hits and three earned runs.
The Pirates struck first in the opening frame when Kevin Newman doubled, moved to third on Greg Allen’s fly ball to left and scored on Roberto Perez’s sacrifice fly to center.
Toronto answered in the bottom of the first off Peters when Randal Grichuk singled to right and after a two outs, Alejandro Kirk belted a two-run homer to left to make it 2-1.
Toronto added three in the third off Wilson, the key hit being a two-run homer by the recently acquired Matt Chapman.
The Pirates’ second run came in the fifth on a walk to Rodolfo Castro, Diego Castillo’s base hit and a fielder’s choice.
The Bucs’ Spring Training schedule continues with a 1 p.m. matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte.