BRADENTON, Fla. -- Adam Frazier and Andrew McCutchen homered, Ivan Nova tossed four efficient innings and the Pirates beat the Twins, 4-1, on Monday night at LECOM Park.Frazier, batting leadoff for the Pirates as he has all spring, went deep to right field against Twins starter Phil Hughes to give
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Adam Frazier and Andrew McCutchen homered, Ivan Nova tossed four efficient innings and the Pirates beat the Twins, 4-1, on Monday night at LECOM Park.
Frazier, batting leadoff for the Pirates as he has all spring, went deep to right field against Twins starter Phil Hughes to give the Pirates an early lead in the first inning. Hughes hit the next batter, Josh Harrison, then served up an opposite-field, two-run blast to McCutchen. It was the first home run of the spring for McCutchen, who spent most of March playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
Cutting back on his workload as he nears his first scheduled start of the regular season, Nova breezed through four innings on 48 pitches. He struck out six, didn't walk anyone and held the Twins to three hits. One of those was a solo blast off the bat of Miguel Sano, who crushed an 0-2 pitch over the left-field wall in the second inning.
"I just want to be aggressive in the strike zone," Nova said. "Today I left a curveball right over the plate, and Sano put a good swing on it."
Hughes recovered and pitched well the rest of the way, leaving after six innings. The veteran right-hander allowed four runs on six hits, including the two homers, and a walk while only striking out one batter.
"Early in the game, I was feeling pretty good, but the first batter of the game got his hands inside a cutter and a changeup I left up to McCutchen," Hughes said. "It wasn't the way I wanted to start off, but I was able to settle in and get my changeup down and mix in my curveball in. Just kind of using all four pitches and moving them around."
Minnesota's bats were silenced, however, by Pittsburgh setup man Felipe Rivero and Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Webb, who tossed three scoreless innings in one of his final auditions to make the Opening Day roster.
Twins Up Next: Right-hander Nick Tepesch makes his final start of the spring on Tuesday, when the Twins host the Rays at Hammond Stadium at 12:05 p.m. CT on MLB.TV. Tepesch isn't expected to make the Twins' Opening Day roster and will provide rotation depth at Triple-A Rochester.
Pirates Up Next: Right-hander Andrew Hutchison will make his final bid for the last spot in the Pirates' rotation, as the Bucs host the Red Sox at 6:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday at LECOM Park on MLB.TV. Hutchison, coming off a rough outing, is competing against Tyler Glasnow, Steven Brault and Trevor Williams for a job on the Opening Day staff. Three key relievers -- closer Tony Watson, setup man Daniel Hudson and lefty Antonio Bastardo -- are also scheduled to pitch.
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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.