Game Nine vs. Tampa Bay in Port Charlotte

Good morning from Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. The hot bats keep coming for the Bucs so far this spring. The Pirates have collected at least 10 hits in each of their last six games and enter today’s action with a Grapefruit-leading .310 average. Can the keep the streak alive today and make it seven?

  • The Pirates (3-5) will face the Tampa Bay Rays (2-6-1) at 1:05. Right-hander Kevin Correia will start for the Bucs against righty Jeff Niemann.
  • Correia (three innings) will be making his second spring training start today. He pitched two hitless innings with a pair of walks over his last trip to the mound against the Yankees.
  • Following Correia in relief are: Justin Wilson, Daniel Moskos, Jared Hughes, Bryan Morris and Doug Slaten.
  • Pirates Lineup:

Alex Presley 7

Jose Tabata 9

Andrew McCutchen 8

Neil Walker 4

Garrett Jones 3

Rod Barajas 2

Pedro Alvarez 5

Clint Barmes 6

Kevin Correia 1

*Looks like a possible opening day lineup, yes?

  • Replacements: Tony Sanchez, Starling Marte, Gorkys Hernandez, Josh Harrison, Chase d’Arnaud, Nick Evans, Jordy Mercer, Matt Hague, Anderson Hernandez, Jake Fox, Ramon Cabrera, Brandon Boggs, Robbie Grossman.
  • Extras from minor league camp: pitchers Ryan Beckman, Jose Diaz, Michael Dubee and Brian Tallet; Catcher Kris Watts
  • The Pirates tomorrow will have two games in action at 1:05.

The Bucs will host the Philadelphia Phillies at McKechnie Field. Right-hander Charlie Morton will get the nod against righty Vance Worley. It will be Morton’s spring training debut. Following Morton is Brad Lincoln, Kyle McPherson, Juan Cruz and Ryota Igarashi.

The Pirates are also scheduled to play the Netherlands in St. Petersburg on Monday at 1:05 as part of the International Baseball tournament at Al Lang Field. The tournament doesn’t count towards spring training standings. Right-hander Jeff Karstens will start for the Bucs. Following Karstens are: Daniel McCutchen, Rudy Owens and Jeff Locke.

  • After two weeks of spring training workouts and 10 games, the Pirates will finally have an off day on Tuesday. It will be their first of two this spring. The other one will be on Monday, March 19.