PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Home plate got worked over Thursday afternoon when the Pirates took a 10-8 win over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park.The scoring began after Rays leadoff hitter Logan Morrison doubled off Chad Kuhl to start the first, and scored on Brad Miller's sacrifice fly. The Rays
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Home plate got worked over Thursday afternoon when the Pirates took a 10-8 win over the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park.
The scoring began after Rays leadoff hitter Logan Morrison doubled off Chad Kuhl to start the first, and scored on Brad Miller's sacrifice fly. The Rays added to the lead when Pirates first baseman Jose Osuna booted Casey Gillaspie's hot smash that allowed Kevin Kiermaier to score from third.
The Pirates answered against Rays starter Blake Snell in the second when Danny Ortiz singled home a run and Barrett Barnes doubled home another to tie the score at 2.
Snell, who is penciled in as the Rays No. 4 starter, allowed two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out three.
"Lack of command," Snell said when asked about his performance. "I liked my changeup a lot today, so I kept throwing it. But I just need to command the zone better. I feel like I know what I need to do, and I'm looking forward to the next one."
Kuhl allowed three runs (two earned) on one hit and two walks in three innings. He gave up very little solid contact but said he felt he was trying too hard to bury his sinker down in the zone.
"It was just kind of me flying open, the ball not doing what I wanted it to. The swings that we got and the results of the balls put in play … all good signs," said Kuhl, on the inside track for one of the Pirates' two available rotation spots. "Not many balls are getting squared up; lot of balls weakly hit or hit on the ground. In that regard, we're feeling really good about where we're at."
Patrick Leonard homered with a man aboard in the fourth to stretch the Rays' lead to 5-2. But the Pirates responded with four in the fifth, highlighted by Osuna's two-run homer off Tommy Hunter, a strike that gave Pittsburgh a 6-5 lead. Miller then tied the score in the bottom half of the fifth with a two-out, solo home run against Wade LeBlanc. It was Miller's first home run of the spring.
Rule 5 hopeful Kevin Gadea took over for the Rays in the top of the sixth, but the Pirates' bats remained active. Alen Hanson had a run-scoring double and Phil Gosselin's infield single drove home another. Gosselin scored when Gadea uncorked a wild pitch, giving the Pirates a 9-6 lead.
Pirates up next
Right-hander Andrew Hutchison, competing for a spot in the rotation, will start for the Bucs on Friday as they host the Rays at 1:05 p.m. ET at LECOM Park in a game airing on Gameday audio. Right-handed relievers Juan Nicasio, Tony Watson, Daniel Hudson and Dovydas Neverauskas are also scheduled to pitch.
Rays up next
Matt Andriese will start for the Rays on Friday, making his second appearance of the spring. Also scheduled to pitch are Jaime Schultz, Ryne Stanek, Chih-Wei Hu, and Hunter Wood. Steven Souza Jr., Nick Franklin, Timothy Beckham, and Curt Casali are all slated to make the trip as well.
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