Strong Pitching And Late Rally Propel Pirates Over Twins

Photo Credit:  Enterprise Media (AP)

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ lineup on Tuesday afternoon looked a lot like what it could be on Opening Day in just 26 days in Chicago.  With Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, Lyle Overbay, and Neil Walker rounding out the top five of the order, there’s a pretty good chance today was the first look at the 2011 Pirates’ starting lineup.  The result was certainly encouraging, as the Pirates beat the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium, 5-2.
The Twins’ Carl Pavano put together another strong outing on Tuesday, limiting the Pirates to just two hits while also striking out a pair through his four innings of work.  In fact, Pavano, who won 17 games a year ago, hasn’t allowed a single run in his three starts (eight innings) this Grapefruit League season.
The Pirates’ pitching was solid this afternoon as well.  Brian Burres didn’t give up a single hit in his two innings of work. 
Our Buccos took the early advantage in the fifth inning on Ryan Doumit’s sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Walker to tag and score.
Minnesota would be respond an inning later when Luke Hughes’ sacrifice to right field scored Drew Butera, followed by Matthew Brown’s double, which scored Ben Revere.  The Twins had the lead at the end of the sixth inning, 2-1.
The lead certainly didn’t last long for Minnesota, as Overbay crushed a homerun, his first of the spring, over the right field wall to tie the game. 
After an uneventful eighth inning, the Pirates would rally in the final frame, burying the Twins and earning the victory.  Josh Fields scored on Pedro Ciriaco’s sacrifice fly to give the Pirates a slim one-run lead. Andrew Lambo’s single to left field drove home Garrett Atkins and Gorkys Hernandez, giving the Pirates a 5-2 lead, which would eventually be the final.
This was another solid victory by the Buccos.  As a whole, the entire Pirates’ team played well.  The pitching held their won, while the offense, although not much power (aside from Overbay’s homer), they manufactured and sacrificed outs for runs, which is something that good teams are able to do on a consistent basis. 
Next up for the Pirates will be the New York Yankees.  The Buccos will start Kevin Correia tomorrow, while Charlie Morton, Aaron Thompson, Tony Watson, and Justin Thomas are also expected to pitch against the Yankees in Tampa Bay, Fla. At 7:05 p.m. 
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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