Trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, the Pittsburgh Pirates sparked a rally and came back to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon in Bradenton.
The Phillies jumped to an early lead in the second after a single by Scott Kingery drove in the game’s first run. Jake Cave followed in the fifth with his third home run of the spring, and Weston Wilson knocked in the third run on a single to center in the top of the sixth.
The Pirates responded in the bottom of the sixth, though, as Andrew McCutchen brought the deficit to one after a two-run home run, marking his “first” home run back with the Pirates since 2017.
Ladies & Gentlemen... Andrew McCutchen. pic.twitter.com/JoKMS7AowF— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) March 21, 2023
Drew Maggi continued his hot spring after tying the game on a single in the bottom of the ninth. Moments later, a wild pitch by Phillies’ reliever Noah Skirrow allowed Chris Owings to score, ending the ballgame.
J.T. Brubaker struck out six hitters and allowed just two earned runs over five innings pitched. Dauri Moreta, Yohan Ramirez and Yerry De Los Santos tossed an inning of shutout ball each.
One other note: Robert Stephenson threw an inning of relief and surrendered two hits, two walks and one earned run in his first outing of the spring. Manager Derek Shelton said after the game that Stephenson could start the year on the IL:
Derek Shelton said the Pirates are leaning towards placing RHP Robert Stephenson on the injured list to begin the season— Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) March 21, 2023
The Pirates have off tomorrow and return to action Thursday against the Boston Red Sox.