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Latest Pittsburgh Pirates News
Mar 25, 2023
TribLIVE's Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox. A pair of players fighting for a roster spot got the Pittsburgh Pirates got off to a good start and one of their competitors provided a strong finish. Where Connor Joe and Mark Mathias spotted the Pirates an early three-run lead, Ji Hwan Bae rallied them by scoring a ninth-inning run for a 6-6 tie with the Detroit Tigers in a Grapefruit League game Friday night at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. After Bryan Reynolds lined a double with an exit velocity of 112.4 mph to left, Joe hit his first home run of spring training by sending an Eduardo Rodriguez first-pitch cutter 377 feet to left for a 2-0 lead. An outfielder/first baseman acquired in a trade from Colorado last fall, Joe is a leading contender for a utility role. Mark Mathias singled to score Tyler Heineman in the second for a 3-0 lead. Acquired earlier this month from Texas, Mathias is battling for a utility role as an infielder/outfielder. The Pirates cleared some of the competition for a spot on the 26-man Opening Day roster on Friday afternoon, when they optioned outfielder Travis Swaggerty and infielder Tucupita Marcano to Triple-A Indianapolis to reduce their major league camp roster to 38 players. The Tigers tagged Roansy Contreras for two runs in the third inning, when former Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows hit an RBI double and Spencer Torkelson a run-scoring single to cut it to 3-2. In his first start since returning from playing for the Dominican Republic in the WBC, Contreras allowed two runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. Detroit took a 4-3 lead on a two-run single by Javier Baez off lefty reliever Jose Hernandez in the fourth. The Tigers made it 5-3 in the sixth when Nick Maton hit his fifth home run, a 418-foot solo shot to right-center off Robert Stephenson. Mathias started the seventh with a single and was replaced by Bae as a pinch runner. That set the stage for Ke’Bryan Hayes to hit his fourth home run, a 362-foot blast to left off Beau Brieske’s 3-1 changeup to tie it at 5-5. Parker Meadows, Austin’s younger brother, hit a leadoff double off lefty Angel Perdomo in the eighth, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a Brendon Davis single to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead. The Pirates tied it in the ninth when Bae hit a leadoff single off Brendan White, stole second base, reached third on a passed ball and scored when Ernny Ordonez reached on a fielder’s choice to third. Juan Minaya pitched the ninth for the Pirates, allowing a two-out walk by Michael Papierski before striking out Jonathan Davis to end the game. Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter . Categories:Pirates/MLB | Sports
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