The Pirates beat Manatee-Sarasota 21-1 in their annual Spring Training-opening exhibition. Garrett Atkins had a three-run homer and a double, and Brian Friday also homered. Steve Pearce had two doubles, and Corey Wimberly scored four runs. Tyler Yates was the only Bucs pitcher to allow a run, and Aaron Thompson and Mike Crotta both struck out the side in one-inning appearances. The Pirates scored at least two runs in every inning of the seven-inning game. Obviously, no one from Manatee-Sarasota had much success, but pitcher Casey Eskew did strike out the only batter he faced, so that’ll be a good one to tell the grandkids.
This is all completely meaningless, of course, but it’s worth pointing out that the Pirates actually lost to the Manatees in 2009, so it’s good that they haven’t been embarrassed by a community college team again. The Bucs will begin Spring Training games against major league teams tomorrow when they head to Port Charlotte to take on the Tampa Bay Rays.