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Photo Credit:  http://www.bradenton.com/

By Chad Carlson

The Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox today, 6-5. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t care any less about the score of this game or the fact that the Bucs lost. This is still Spring Training; wins and losses don’t matter for another two weeks.

Prior to A.J. Burnett bunting a ball off his face, Kevin Correia was more than likely on his way to beginning the 2012 regular season in the bullpen. Now, even despite Burnett’s impressive (and speedy) recovery thus far, Correia will be in the starting rotation to begin the season, and in fact, he may even be the Opening Day starter when the Pirates host the Philadelphia Phillies in a little over two weeks from today.

Correia got the start today against the Boston Red Sox, and unfortunately, he looked more like his post All-Star Game from last year, lasting five innings while giving up four runs on eight hits. He fought hard against a number of batters, but he proved vulnerable to leaving pitches a little higher in the zone than desirable, and it cost him on several occasions.

Before today’s start, Correia had looked incredible on the mound…very solid, confident, and reminiscent of last year’s Spring Training and early regular season. Today was definitely a step backwards for him. That being said, this was against a pretty jacked up Boston Red Sox lineup, one that is among the best the Pirates will see this year. Still, as we draw closer to the regular season, it’d be nice to see the Pirates’ pitchers performing better, not worse.

Joel Hanrahan relieved Correia and tossed a scoreless sixth inning, giving up a hit and walking one batter while striking out one. Evan Meek, unfortunately, wasn’t as strong, giving up a run on two hits, including a homerun, in the seventh inning.

From an offensive standpoint, the Bucs looked solid today. Josh Harrison and Matt Hague, two players vying for those previous bench spots on the Major League roster, had two hits a piece, while Andrew McCutchen, Alex Presley, and Casey McGehee each added a hit as well. Nate McLouth hammered a go-ahead homerun in the seventh inning as well.

Prior to today’s game, the Pirates announced they were reassigning four players to the Minor Leagues, including Brandon Boggs, Daniel Cabrera, Jeff Clement, and Tim Wood. The Bucs’ current roster number sits at 39.

The Pirates face the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow at 1:05pm.

Grapefruit League Record: 7-10

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!