The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles by a 7-5 score in Bradenton on Thursday afternoon. The day started off on a bit of a low note, with Starling Marte being scratched from the lineup due to back tightness. He is listed as day-to-day and the move was called more precautionary than anything. The day ended much better with the help of the man who replaced Marte in the lineup.

The Pirates drafted outfielder Jonah Davis in the 15th round last year and he put up huge numbers at Bristol, with a 1.010 OPS in 51 games. It was a great pro debut, but Bristol has another six steps before you’re in the majors. That didn’t matter to Davis, who took Marte’s place and hit solo homers in the first and sixth innings.

Here are both homers

The Pirates also got a solo homer from Francisco Cervelli, his third of the spring.

The big hit however, was the last swing of the game. Jung Ho Kang turned a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to a 7-5 walk-off win with a grand slam. It was his sixth home run this spring.

Chris Archer started the game and lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out six batters. He was followed by Tyler Lyons, who stranded three runners in the fourth inning for Archer, then threw shutout ball in the fifth. Kyle Crick needed an outing like he had on Thursday. After a scoreless sixth inning with two strikeouts, he has a 10.13 ERA this spring. With Archer leaving early, the Pirates had to go with two minor leaguers to finish the game. Matt Eckelman threw a perfect seventh and Montana DuRapau allowed two runs in his second inning of work, though those runs set up the dramatics from Kang.

Friday’s Action

The Pirates are on the road this afternoon to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The game starts at 1:00 PM and it will be broadcast on a slight tape delay on MLB Network this afternoon. The Pirates will have Jung Ho Kang at shortstop today. It is to get him some work there in case he is need there in an emergency situation. Here’s today’s lineup:

  1. Adam Frazier 2B
  2. Jung Ho Kang SS
  3. Lonnie Chisenhall RF
  4. Josh Bell 1B
  5. Colin Moran 3B
  6. Pablo Reyes CF
  7. Erik Gonzalez DH
  8. Patrick Kivlehan LF
  9. Steven Baron C

The Pirates made a change today on the mound, going with Brandon Waddell to start the game. They said yesterday that it would be a bullpen game, with Francisco Liriano starting. Liriano is still pitching today, along with Brandon Maurer and Geoff Hartlieb.

The Pirates have a deep bench today, with Kevin Newman and Calvin Mitchell leading the way. They will be joined by Pat Dorrian, Jerrick Suiter, John Bormann, Alfredo Reyes, Arden Pabst, Jesse Medrano, Chris Sharpe and Nick Garland, who is joining the big league club for the first time this spring. He was signed as a free agent last month.

Saturday’s Action

The Pirates have a split doubleheader tomorrow, with afternoon contests at home against the Philadelphia Phillies and on the road against the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies game will be shown live and AT&T SportsNet and both games will be shown on a tape delay on MLB Network.

The Pirates will send out Jordan Lyles, Felipe Vazquez, Keone Kela, Kyle Crick and Richard Rodriguez against the Phillies, while Jameson Taillon will be in Fort Myers to make his final start before the season opener. He will be followed by Rookie Davis and Tyler Lyons.

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