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Dickerson getting comfortable in LF for Bucs

Kuhl, Williams struggle Monday; Marte hits first homer of spring
Special to MLB.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Pirates' new left fielder played six innings in that position on Monday.

Corey Dickerson, acquired in a trade from Tampa Bay on Feb. 22, went 0-for-3 in a 7-5 exhibition loss to the Atlanta Braves. A shoestring catch by Atlanta right fielder Danny Santana in the fourth inning denied Dickerson his first hit for the Pirates.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Pirates' new left fielder played six innings in that position on Monday.

Corey Dickerson, acquired in a trade from Tampa Bay on Feb. 22, went 0-for-3 in a 7-5 exhibition loss to the Atlanta Braves. A shoestring catch by Atlanta right fielder Danny Santana in the fourth inning denied Dickerson his first hit for the Pirates.

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Video: PIT@ATL: Santana makes scoop for a running catch

Dickerson played in 93 games in left field and 55 at designated hitter for the Rays last season, when he hit .282 with 27 home runs and made the American League All-Star team at DH.

Dickerson and his wife Beth Anne had their second son in Mississippi on the day of the trade, so he started Spring Training a little late. He batted twice on Saturday in his first game.

"He's back in play now. We'll build him up and get him going," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "There's room for improvement, and there's also a guy out there that wants to improve. I love the competitor, I love the edge."

Dickerson batted second Monday, but Hurdle is uncertain where his new left fielder will work into the batting order.

"We've got [Gregory] Polanco, [Starling] Marte, Dickerson, [Josh] Bell ... We've got some guys to look to to do some things," Hurdle said. "We're not anticipating hitting [Dickerson] too far down in the lineup."

Kuhl, Williams undone by tough innings
Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams had one rough inning each in Monday's loss.

After two hitless innings, Kuhl gave up five singles in a third inning he didn't get to finish. Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in the third run with a single and Kuhl was taken out after throwing 51 pitches in 2 1/3 innings.

"He got out of his rhythm and lost his composure out there," Hurdle said. "Started getting hit. He showed the ability to make pitches and then it got away from him."

Video: PIT@ATL: Hurdle and Kuhl reflect on start vs. Braves

Tyler Jones kept Kuhl's rough inning from being worse by inducing Preston Tucker into a double play.

"That's the third time he's come in with runners on base and done a very good job. It doesn't get much better than he did today," Hurdle said.

Williams, pitching for the second time this spring, gave up a walk and hit, then hit Acuna with a pitch before Christian Colon cleared the bases with a double into the left-field corner.

Marte, Moroff, Luplow hit first spring homers.
Starling Marte's dinger came in the fourth inning off Atlanta starter Brandon McCarthy. Max Moroff, batting left-handed, hit a long homer off Dan Winkler in the eighth.

"I hit that one on the sweet spot," he said.

Rookie Jordan Luplow homered in the ninth off Rex Brothers.

Video: PIT@ATL: Marte connects for a solo home run

Batting right-handed, Moroff drove in another run with a bases-loaded walk in the ninth.

Up next
After Tuesday's off -day, the Pirates will play the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin on Wednesday at 1:07 p.m. ET. Tyler Glasnow will get his third start of the spring against the Blue Jays' J.A. Happ. Michael Feliz, Josh Smoker, Jordan Milbrath and Clay Holmes are also expected to pitch for Pittsburgh. The game will be broadcast live on pirates.com and Gameday Audio.

Dick Scanlon is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Pirates on Monday.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Corey Dickerson, Chad Kuhl, Starling Marte, Trevor Williams