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Photo Credit: Pirates.com (AP)

The Pirates were back in action against the Tampa Bay Rays for the fourth time this spring.  Pittsburgh was coming off a tough 5-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, while the Ray lost 5-4 to the Philadelphia Phillies.  Ross Ohlendorf took the hill for the Buccos and Rays’ ace David Price was his mound opponent.
Both pitchers breezed through the first inning, with the only hit being a Neil Walker double.  Inning number two saw the Rays get on the board first when B.J. Upton doubled, scoring Matt Joyce from first.  This was the only run that Ohlendorf would give up in his three innings of work.  He struck out two, walked one, and gave up three hits on the afternoon.
Evan Meek worked the fourth inning for the Pirates, giving up no hits, but walked one batter.  Pittsburgh’s bats would finally wake up in the bottom of the fourth when Matt Diaz hit a two-run homer off of Price.  The Ray’s ace finished his day after this inning, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out two and walking one batter.
The Rays tied the game up in the fifth inning.  After Buccos’ pitcher Jose Veras walked the first pair of batters, Tim Beckham singled to left field, scoring Upton from third base.  Veras finished the inning walking two, allowing one hit, and giving up the one earned run.
The Rays took a 4-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning, which would be the final.  Tyler Yates walked Rays’ catcher Jose Lobaton, who would then make his way to third on a groundball to right field by Casey Kotchman.  After walking his second batter of the inning, Yates would be pulled form the game having only pitched 2/3 of an inning.  Kotchen would eventually score when the Pirates’ Daniel Moskos issued a bases-loaded walk to Tampa Bay’s right-fielder Justin Ruggiano.  The loss dropped the Pirates’ Spring Training record to 5-6.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a rough couple of days against American League East opponents.  Their bats have been silenced and pitchers have been inconsistent.  They will look to get back on the winning track as they travel to Fort Myers, Florida to face the Minnesota Twins.  Brian Burres will take to the mound and Andrew McCutchen is scheduled to bat leadoff for the Buccos.
And…
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!