Bucs Finish Florida Spring Training at .500

Kang hits 7th HR in 1-1 final with Baltimore

Jeff Hathhorn
March 24, 2019 - 4:49 pm

93.7 the Fan

SARASOTA, FL (93.7 the Fan) – The Pirates ended their final Grapefruit League game with a third tie of the spring to finish 14-14-3, final 1-1 with the Orioles on Sunday.

The Pirates had two of their fifth starter candidates pitch and still have yet to make a decision on that spot.

“There is nothing really more I can do, except for my next time I take the mound is to prove it again,” Kingham said after throwing three scoreless, allowing a hit, no walks and two strikeouts.  “My work is done.  I left it all out there.  I did all I could and whatever happens, happens.”

“A lot of adjustments made, there was a lot of work done,” said Steven Brault after three innings, allowing the only run on one hit and two strikeouts.  “I still have no idea what is going on.  I will figure out soon.  I think it’s been a very positive spring and I don’t see any reason it won’t get better as the season goes on.”

Brault’s ERA this spring was 4.32, Kingham’s was 4.35 veteran Jordan Lyles was 5.06.  With various off-days and the likelihood of running into bad weather, the Bucs may not need a fifth starter until mid-April.  Lyles was said by GM Neal Huntington to have the advantage a few days ago. One variable, Kingham is out of options and would have to be placed on waivers if not on the 25 man roster.

Trevor Williams started the game on Sunday, he also went three innings, also struck out two and allowed no runs finishing spring with a 2.45 ERA in just three starts and 11 innings.

“I’m prepared for the season,” Williams said.  “We were in this taper mode where we were giving my body a blow before we get ready for 30 plus starts and hopefully 200 innings.  I look forward to pitching Saturday in Cincinnati.”

Williams worked in a few simulated games as part of the Pirates new routine with starters and said he’s learned with age to adjust his workouts and eating habits to prepare for a season.  The soon-to-be 27-year-old said of the defense behind him this year.

“The play today that Erik (Gonzalez) made was unbelieveable,” Williams said.  “In my brain I thought it was falling and I was in the middle of my F-bomb and then he stuck his glove out and caught it.  It’s impressive.  It’s fun to see.  I’m looking forward to going to battle every fifth day with those guys behind me.  I think those guys are looking forward to that too.”

Jung-Ho Gung hit his 7th homer over the left-field wall to account for the Pirates only run.  Pablo Reyes doubled off the top of the wall and Josh Bell hit an opposite field double, saying he’s really improved at the plate over the last week.

Spring Leaders

Of the Pirates regulars, here were the leaders for Grapefruit League play in 2019

-average—Corey Dickerson, .389

-hits—Pablo Reyes, 16

-HR—Jung-Ho Kang, 7 (4 more than any other Pirate)

-RBI—Ke’Bryan Hayes, 12 (Kang with 11)

-ERA—Richard Rodriguez 1.42

-Games—Francisco Liriano, Tyler Lyons, 9

-IP—Kingham, 20.2

-SO—Chris Archer, 18

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