PIRATES 5, DEVIL RAYS 2 at Bradenton, Fla.
Thursday, March 8
Devil Rays at the plate: Hee-Seop Choi's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning knocked in the first run for the Rays, who cut a two-run deficit in half. B.J. Upton's two-out double would have scored a run in the sixth, but catcher Dioner Navarro pulled up lame and was thrown out at the plate. The Rays got a second run in the eighth on Carlos Pena's RBI double.
Pirates at the plate: Catcher Humberto Cota's single with the bases loaded in the second knocked in the game's first runs and gave the Pirates a two-run lead. The Bucs scored again when they turned three singles and a double-play grounder into a run in the sixth. Michael Ryan's RBI single in the seventh knocked in the game's fourth run. In all, the Pirates banged out 11 hits.
Devil Rays on the mound: Left-hander Scott Kazmir, who gave up two runs in the second on three singles and a walk, took the loss. Right-hander Jeff Niemann, who came on in the seventh, struggled a bit, giving up three hits and a run.
Pirates on the mound: Left-hander Shane Youman worked out of a first-inning jam and went on to pitch three scoreless innings. Youman give up two hits before turning a two-run lead over to right-hander John Wasdin and the Pirates bullpen. In the eighth, Allan Simpson gave up one run, which cut the Pirates' lead to 4-2. Right-hander Brian Rogers worked the ninth to pick up the save, the second of the season for the Pirates.
Grapefruit League records: Devil Rays 1-6; Pirates 2-5-1.
Up next: The Rays will travel to Legends Field to take on the Yankees on Friday night at 7:15 ET in Tampa. Right-hander Tim Corcoran will start for the Rays, and he will face Yankees right-hander Carl Pavano. The Pirates will play a day-night doubleheader on Friday. In the first game, right-hander Zach Duke will start against the Braves, who will send left-hander Chuck James to the mound at 1:05 p.m. In the second game, against the Indians, right-hander Shawn Chacon will start, facing veteran right-hander Paul Byrd at 7:05.
Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.