PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (KDKA/AP) —The Pittsburgh Pirates split up the squad to take on the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles on Monday. While one side won by the slimmest of margins, the other lost.
Pirates first baseman Garrett Atkins hit a three-run homer Monday, leading the Pirates’ split squad to a 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Atkins hit his home run in the five-run fourth inning against right-hander Mike Ekstrom. Third baseman Josh Fields had an RBI single for the Pirates and Chris Snyder scored the decisive run on a wild pitch during an error-filled seventh.
Three of the five Rays runs came off of Pirates pitcher Fernando Nieve. Nieve pitched one inning, giving up five hits, three earned runs and striking out one.
Pirates pitcher Sean Gallagher recorded the save with two shutout innings and only allowed one walk.
Second baseman Neil Walker joined the team on the trip and when 1-for-3 and scored a run. Walker’s one hit was a single in the fourth inning.
The Pirates hammered the Rays 10-3 on Sunday. Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 3 with a single, double and solo home run. He also scored three runs, drove in two and stole a base in five innings of play.
Pirates Lose 6-4 To Baltimore
Left-hander Paul Maholm, already assured of a job in the rotation, started for the Pirates against the Baltimore Orioles.
Maholm worked two innings and gave up two runs on four hits and struck out two in the 6-4 loss.
Jeff Karstens took over for Maholm and pitched two shutout innings and only allowed one walk.
Manager Clint Hurdle placed left fielder Jose Tabata at the top of the lineup. He went 1-for-3 and scored a run in the game.
McCutchen and backup catcher Ryan Doumit went hitless in the game. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
First baseman Lyle Overbay’s only hit was a home run in the fifth inning off of Clay Rapada.
The Pirates return to Bradenton, Fla. for a full squad game against the New York Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.