The Bucs travelled to Fort Myers, Florida this afternoon to take on the Twins. The Pirates sent rotation hopeful Kyle McPherson to the bump, while former Phillie Vance Worley started for Minnesota.

Both McPherson and Worley made quick work of their opponents in two innings. K-Mac’s only blemish was a single by Josh Willingham, which got erased one batter later when Justin Morneau lined into an unassisted double play.

Right fielder Travis Snider had himself a nice day at the plate, knocking a double and tacking on two RBI. He started off the scoring in the third inning with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Anderson Hernandez.

The Buccos tacked on another run in the fourth, as Felix Pie lined one up the middle to score Garrett Jones.

Entering the bottom half of the inning with a 2-0 lead, Jeanmar Gomez got roughed up for four runs. He was pulled after retiring just one out, and Brooks Brown came in to relieve him. Brown surrendered two singles and another run (charged to Gomez) before escaping. Gomez’s final line: 1.1 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 1 K.

The Pirates scored for the third consecutive inning, with Snider hitting another sac fly. They trailed 4-3 at the halfway point, but knotted things up in the seventh. Powerless Jose Tabata somehow, someway crushed a home run deep to left off Esmerling Vasquez.

The dreams of an undefeated Grapefruit League campaign came to an end in the bottom of the eighth, however, as Chris Colabello doubled home Brandon Boggs. You may remember Boggs played with Indianapolis last season, the Pirates’ Class AAA affiliate.

Pedro Hernandez closed it out for Minnesota, securing a 5-4 win.

Other notes:
- Jordy Mercer, who started at shortstop and batted second, went 2 for 3 on the day.
- It’s good to see a little pop from Tabata, whose power numbers have been extremely disappointing over the years.
- Chris Leroux, Phil Irwin, and Ryan Reid all tossed scoreless innings for the Pirates.
- Gregory Polanco, one of the Pirates’ top prospects, got into the game and flew out to left in his one at-bat.
- In addition to Boggs, former Pirates Ryan Doumit, Eric Fryer, and Jeff Clement suited up for the Twins today.

The Bucs are back at McKechnie Field tomorrow to face the Baltimore Orioles. Most regulars will see action, including Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Pedro Alvarez. Wandy Rodriguez will start his first game of the spring.

Go Bucs

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