Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Taillon's Simulated Game Work Steals Show on Productive Day 9p-17-2 9p-17-2

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Taillon's Simulated Game Work Steals Show on Productive Day 9p-17-2 9p-17-2

Article excerpt

BRADENTON, Fla. - The lineup the Pirates used Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles was very close to the one manager Clint Hurdle expects to use when the team opens the regular season March 28 in Cincinnati against the Reds.

Francisco Cervelli made his first start behind the plate. Cervelli previously played first base and DH this spring. Jordan Lyles appreciated the opportunity to throw to the veteran catcher.

Lyles gave up two runs, one earned in four innings. The Orioles registered three hits and drew a walk against Lyles. He also had three strikeouts and credited Cervelli for helping to provide confidence.

Cervelli played four innings and was 1 for 2 as a batter.

"It was exciting to be able to get behind the plate and do my thing," Cervelli said. "It was fun catching Lyles he makes my job easy."

The Pirates scored all five of their runs on solo home runs.

Erik González and Adam Frazier both hit their first home runs of the season in back-to-back at-bats during the fifth inning. Frazier is expected to start at second base and Gonzalez appears to be in line to be the shortstop.

Gonzalez got a hit in the first at-bat of spring training, but he had not gotten another hit until the home run.

"It felt good to hit the ball hard," Gonzalez said. "I wanted to make some good contact and I did."

Patrick Kivlehan hit his second home run of the spring. and shortstop prospect Cole Tucker hit two including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.

"That was really cool," Tucker said.

"It's just spring but it's still a competitive game and it was fun to have my teammates celebrate at home plate."

Before the game, Jameson Taillon pitched in a simulated game at Pirate City.

Assistant pitching coach Justin Meccage called out different situations as Taillon pitched to hitters such as Kevin Newman and Pablo Reyes. They used backfield number four.

There also was a full allotment of fielders and even an umpire to call balls and strikes.

Taillon threw 69 pitches over four innings. Taillon sat for about three to five minutes between the innings. …

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