SCORE: Pirates 4, Red Sox 3
BREAKDOWN: The Red Sox held on to a 2-1 lead through six innings, largely in part because of Clay Buchholz’ one-hitter through five innings. Therighty, slated for the No. 2 spot, allowed one run, that coming in the second inning when he hung a pitch to second baseman Neil Walker, who blasted the homer to right field. Boston had taken a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Pirates starter James McDonald. The rally began with a Shane Victorino leadoff triple. After Jackie Bradley Jr. reached on an infield single and Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked to load the bases, Ryan Lavarnway lined two-run single to left. The Pirates used the long ball to take the lead and then for insurance purposes. Gabby Sanchez homered with a man on against Chris Carpenter followed by an eighth inning solo blast by Mike McKenry.
THUMBS UP: Buchholz ran his scoreless streak to 9.1 innings before allowing the Walker home run. Buchholz has been working on his tempo and pace and it’s made quite a difference to him. … Daniel Nava, vying for a job as the backup outfielder/first baseman, helped his cause with two hits. … Lavarnway, who had been struggling the entire camp, also chipped in with two hits.
THUMBS DOWN: Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 0 for 4 and left three men on base. … Chris Carpenter allowed the two-run homer in his one inning of work and Villareal allowed three hits and one run in his one inning. The Red Sox left nine men on base.
MEDICAL REPORT: Status quo on both David Ortiz (heels) and Stephen Drew (concussion). Neither player was able to advance to the next level. Drew is still suffering concussion symptoms while inflammation in Ortiz’ right heel has not alleviated. Franklin Morales, who has had a bulging disk in his back, threw from 60 feet. Pedro Ciriaco is a couple of days from returning with back spasms.
AROUND THE BASES: McKechnie Field was the site of the Boston Braves’ final spring training in 1952. It has been refurbished many times and remains a gem…The game included a 48-minute rain delay at the start…Two former Red Sox draft picks – Pedro Alvarez and Sanchez were in the Pittsburgh lineup. Neither player signed with the Red Sox…Mark Melancon, acquired by the Pirates from the Red Sox in the Joel Hanrahan deal, struck out the first two Sox batters he faced and then ran into control problems with a hit and walk before getting out of the jam.
NEXT GAME: The Sox host the Orioles Tuesday at 1:35 p.m. Ryan Dempster will face lefty Brian Matusz.