Bowker Blasts Third Homerun Of The Spring As Pirates Beat Red Sox

By Zane Heiple
Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle
The Pirates faced off against the Red Sox this afternoon in Bradenton, Florida.  Buston came into the game with a 12-11 Spring Training record, while Pittsburgh is 8-14.  Kevin Correia took the hill to start the game for the Buccos.  Correia entered the day with an 0-2 record and an ERA of 7.42.  The Sox countered with Josh Beckett, who is also 0-2, and has a 6.52 Spring Training ERA.  The two teams had met earlier in the spring, with the Buccos winning the previous meeting 9-4.
Both pitchers were able to get out of the first inning with key double plays.  Correia was able to get two outs when a sharp grounder was hit to Neil Walker and two were turned.  Beckett avoided a big inning when left fielder Daniel Nava caught an Andrew McCutchen flyball at the wall and then doubled off Walker at first base.
The Pirates’ defense used a double play to end the second inning when Nava grounded out to Walker for the 4-6-3 double play.  The bottom of the inning saw Lyle Overbay, Pedro Alvarez, and Matt Diaz go down in order.  Beckett finished the day after 4 2/3 innings having given up five runs, only one of them earned, on seven hits, while striking out two and walking one.  Correia went five innings, allowing three runs, two of them earned, on seven hits, four strikeouts and one walk.
Overbay crushed a two-run double into the left-centerfield gap in the fourth inning, scoring Walker from second and McCutchen from first to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead.  Overbay, Alvarez, and Dusty Brown scored on Correia bases-clearing single later in the inning.  This would be the pitcher’s second hit of the day and the Pirates ended the fourth inning with a 5-0 lead.
As expected, Boston answered with three runs in the fifth inning.  Josh Reddick hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Darnell McDonald.  Nava then scored on a Marco Scutero single to left field.  The final Red Sox run of the inning came on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia sacrifice fly to Jose Tabata, allowing Nate Spears to score.
Joel Hanrahan pitched the sixth inning and did a very good job in relief.  In one inning of work, one hit and two strikeouts for Hanrahan.  Justin Thomas came in to pitch the seventh inning and the Sox cut the lead to one.  A Thomas wild pitch scored Spears from third to make it a 5-4 game.
The Bucco bats stretched the lead to 7-4 in their half of the seventh.  Both runs in the inning came on a John Bowker homerun that would also score Jason Jaramillo.  This was Bowker’s third homerun of the spring.  Boston added a run in the ninth off Pirates’ pitcher Fernando Nieve, who would throw two innings today while giving up one run on two hits, striking out two and walking one batter.
With a 7-5 win today, the Pirates ended a four game losing streak.  Overall it was a good day for the Pirates as they were able to collect runs when they had runners in scoring position.  Other than the one rough inning, Correia pitched well.  The Buccos return to action tomorrow when they head to Kissimmee, Florida to face their National League Central Division rivals, the Houston Astros.  This will be the first of two meetings between the two teams this spring.  First pitch is scheduled to be at 1:05pm.
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

Leave a Reply