Bucs Blast Boston on St. Patrick's Day

Marte, Dickerson homer in support of Taillon

Jeff Hathhorn
March 17, 2019 - 5:11 pm

93.7 the Fan

BRADENTON, FL (93.7 the Fan) – Jameson Taillon gave up and unearned run and then drove in a run as the Pirates beat Boston 8-1 on St. Patrick’s Day.

“I thought Jameson was really, really sharp today,” said manager Clint Hurdle.  "Threw all of his pitches, had a bunch of called third strikes.  All of his pitches were working.".  Taillon said he was getting his work in, going five innings with no walks and six strikeouts.

Six different Pirates drove in runs against the Red Sox including a bomb of a 3-run homer from Starling Marte, his third in as many days, and each impressive.  Hurdle thought he may have been driven by the play of Boston’s Jackie Bradley, Jr.

“He got to see a centerfielder make a play (sliding catch on Josh Bell in the first) and he tried to make a play and he didn’t glove the ball.  This guy comes in his park and swings the bat, then there is a called third strike.  I said Marte ‘let’s go’ and then he goes light tower.”

Marte is hitting .273 this in Grapefruit League action with 8 RBI, four walks and three stolen bases.

Shortstop Erik Gonzalez went 1 for 2 with a walk, double and two stolen bases.

93.7 the Fan

“Today was a good day for him all over the place,” Hurdle said.  “That is the player that we believe we traded for.  Is he going to have a day like that all the time, nah, but you see the athleticism.  The base running skills, the hand-eye in the way the glove and the feet work in the field, the hand-eye at the plate, good day for him.”

Corey Dickerson homered as Josh Bell was robbed of a hit and went 0 for 4 and is hitting .162.  Bell has tinkered with his swing in the past, but the Bucs manager believes it will come.

“We want him to be steadfast with a cause up there and stick with a plan,” Hurdle said.  “It’s paramount we believe, and he does to, to his success.  He got to see a lot in two years.  He’s got enough information.  He needs to settle on something, stick to a couple of core values at the plate, repeat his setup and his swing.  I think he’s doing that and been intentional with it.”

Brandon Maurer finished the game with a scoreless inning, preceded by two hitless innings from Nick Burdi and a scoreless inning from Francisco Liriano, that included a caught-looking strikeout.

Liriano is attempting to make this team as a lefty reliever after winning 41 games over four seasons with the Pirates earlier this decade.  Spring results so far, 5.14 ERA in seven innings with four runs allowed, six walks and five strikeouts.

“I put as much value into the tape I watch as you do in Spring Training,” Hurdle said of evaluating Liriano.  “Even though he’s 35, he’s excited to be back.  He wants good things to happen.  We want him to settle in.  Today was much better than the last couple of outings as far as command.  I think it was 14 strikes in 20 pitches.  When they are thinking he’s throwing strikes and the change-up and the slider so up, that’s when he dominates.  I think you saw a little bit of that today.”

Two pitchers battling to be the fifth starter work tomorrow, Jordan Lyles in a four inning simulated game and Nick Kingham with the Pirates at Port Charlotte.  Tampa Bay starts Charlie Morton.