BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Pedro Alvarez had three hits, including two doubles and a two-run homer, as a Pittsburgh Pirates’ split squad beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Friday.
Two of Alvarez’s hits, including the home run, came against left-handed pitchers, and all three hits were struck to center or left field. Alvarez hit .175 against southpaws last season.
“It was a very good day for Pedro,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “When he can come up and hit the ball that hard, that far to center or the opposite field, that’s when Pedro works best.”
Trailing 5-1, the Pirates scored three runs in the sixth off Mario Hollands. Alvarez hit his first home run since his spring training opener on March 3, and Jose Tabata had an RBI single.
Alvarez and Tony Sanchez hit consecutive RBI doubles off Jake Diekman in the eighth, and Sebastian Valle had a game-ending double off the center-field wall against Jeanmar Gomez.
Brian Bogusevic and Cody Asche homered off Pirates starter Vance Worley, who gave up three runs and six hits in five innings with four strikeouts.
Bogusevic entered batting .375 with two home runs. His solo home run to right-center field in the second inning put the Phillies ahead. Asche followed with a two-run homer in the second, his first of spring training.
Worley gave up three runs and six hits in five innings, while striking out four. He became the first Pirates pitcher to work five innings in a game this year.
“It’s always good getting deeper and deeper into games,” Worley said. “Makes it more realistic.”
Phillies: Philadelphia’s Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez allowed one run and five hits in 3 1-3 innings. one. He has allowed eight runs and 17 hits in 10 1-3 innings.
Pirates: Worley walked none and has allowed just one in 11 innings. “That’s it?” he asked. “That’s good. That’s really good. I didn’t even know that. The last couple springs, or I should say every spring for me, I don’t usually get command until about my last game.”
Pirates: CF Andrew McCutchen remains out due to lower body soreness and was not in the posted lineup for Saturday game.
Phillies: LHP Cole Hamels is the planned starter against Toronto’s R.A. Dickey on Saturday in Clearwater. Hamels has allowed seven runs in seven innings.
Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano is expected to start Saturday as the Pirates play host to Boston. Liriano has thrown five scoreless innings as he prepares to sfart the season opener April 6 at Cincinnati.
Pirates’ Cervelli homers twice off Twins’ Gibson
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Francisco Cervelli homered twice off Kyle Gibson on Friday, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Three-time AL batting champion Joe Mauer went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. He is batting .158 in 19 spring at-bats.
Gibson, slotted in as the Twins’ No. 4 starter, walked three, including one to Pirates starter Gerrit Cole with the bases loaded in the third inning. Gibson was pulled at 73 pitches with two outs in the fifth inning.
Cervelli, who has 10 career homers in parts of seven big league seasons, doubled in his only regular-season at-bat against Gibson.
Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar got his team-leading 10th RBI with a fourth-inning single off Cole, who scattered four hits and walked none in five strong innings.
Shane Robinson also drove in a run for the Twins with a double.