Braves beat Pirates behind big offensive outbursts
By Chris Turner
Atlanta got back in the Spring win column on Sunday, rolling past the Pittsburgh Pirates in an 11-3 win on the road in Bradenton, Florida. The Braves are now 6-7 during Spring Training, while the Pirates fall to 4-10.
Michael Harris II opened the scoring in the first, hitting his second home run of the Spring with a 351-foot shot to left field. In 20 at-bats this Spring, Harris is slashing .300/.391/1.091 with two home runs and six RBIs. A small sample size, but a very promising start to his sophomore campaign.
On the mound, Jared Shuster continued his very impressive pitching this Spring, going 3.2 innings, striking out five batters, and allowing just one run off a Bryan Reynolds solo home run in the third. In 8.2 spring innings, the former first-round pick has allowed just two hits and one run.
Kirby Yates came in to relieve Shuster to close the 4th, and returned for the 5th. After allowing a lead-off single to Ji-Man Choi, Yates gave up a two-run homer to Jack Suwinski, giving Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead.
The Braves offense got to work quickly in the 6th, with a Vaughn Grissom single and Sam Hilliard walk putting two runners on with one out. After a Jordan Luplow foul out, new pitcher Yohan Ramirez gave up three straight hits that put the Braves ahead for good. Ehire Adrianza ripped a bases-clearing double, Ryan Casteel dropped an RBI single into right, and finally, Joe Hudson sent a two-run homer just over the wall in left to put an exclamation mark on the day. It's his first Spring Training home run since he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, when he hit a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves in March of 2021.
Atlanta piled it on even more in the 9th just for good measure, with back-to-back RBI singles from Forest Wall and Hoy Park to extend the lead to 10-3. Mitchell Tolman dropped an RBI double into right center to push it to 11-3 before the inning came to a close.
Not to be missed in the big offensive showcase, outside of the single and home run allowed by Yates, Atlanta's relief group today of Jesse Chavez, Danny Young, Ty Tice, and Matt Swarmer threw four scoreless innings, allowed just one hit, and struck out five.
- M. Harris II: 1-3, HR, RBI
- V. Grissom: 1-4,
- R. Casteel: 2-3, 2 RBI
- E. Ardrianza: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI
- J. Hudson: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI
Braves are back in action on Monday as they host the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.