Game over: Pirates 5, Red Sox 3: Sox got two runners on in the ninth before young prospect Blake Swihart bunted into a double play.
Top of the 9th: Pirates 5, Red Sox 3: Pittsburgh scored four runs in the eighth as Anthony Carter was hit hard.
The Sox, meanwhile, have done exactly nothing against the Pittsburgh bullpen.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 3, Pirates 1: The Pirates have now retired 14 in a row. Tazawa is on for another inning.
Off to the clubhouse.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 3, Pirates 1: Buchholz went 5.1 innings. His line: 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 88 pitches, 56 strikes. Tazawa replaced him with a runner on and induced a double play.
Buchholz in 5 starts this spring: 18.2 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 16 K. That’s an 0.96 ERA.
Meanwhile Pittsburgh pitching has retired 11 Sox in a row.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 3, Pirates 1: Buchholz has retired six straight and nine of 10. Former Red Sox RHP MarkMelancon retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth, fanning Napoli and Middlebrooks. He has allowed one earned run in nine innings this spring with seven strikeouts. The guess here is that Melancon will thrive in a low-key settling like Pittsburgh.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Pirates 1: Alvarez singled but Buchholz left him there. The Sox then went in order.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 3, Pirates 1: Buchholz worked around a double by Locke, the pitcher. Then Locke allowed a run as Middlebrooks tripled with one out (the ball hit the top edge of the scoreboard at Faux Fenway and bounced straight up). Salty (2 for 2) followed with a single.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 2, Pirates 1: Jones hit a long home run to center field off Buchholz. But the Sox scored twice off Locke.
Salty continued his good spring with a double. Ross singled to right with one out and the ball got past Snider for a two-base error. Ross was charitably given an RBI.
Iglesias followed with an RBI single. Ellsbury also singled but Victorino popped up to first and Pedroia grounded into a force at second.
Top of the 2nd: Pirates 0, Red Sox 0: As Joe Castiglione would say, it was a squander for both teams.
Marte led off with a double for the Pirates and took third when Presley flied deep to center. But Walker popped to third and Alvarez flied to left.
Ellsbury doubled to start the bottom of the inning for the Sox. Victorino and Pedroia grounded out before Napoli walked on four pitches. Middlebrooks was up 3-and-0 before flying deep to center.
Pre-game: It’s a sunny and warm day in the Fort. Clay Buchholz is facing what looks to be the regular Pirates lineup. The game is on NESN and WEEI but we’ll have updates here, too.
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