Pirates Score a Dozen Beating the Braves

Bucs bats pound out 15 hits including 5 homers.

Jeff Hathhorn
March 16, 2018 - 5:45 pm
Josh Bell

93.7 the Fan

Regulars Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco homered, Corey Dickerson with a 3-run triple and back-up catcher Elias Diaz hit his third Spring Training homer in at 12-9 Pirates win over Atlanta on Friday.

“Josh (Harrison) looked at me in the first inning and he was like ‘look around dude, this is a good lineup’ and you saw it in the first few innings, we were rolling,” said first baseman Josh Bell.  “It was fun, fun baseball.”

Every Pirates starter had a hit as manager Clint Hurdle is starting to extend playing time for his regulars.

“Power showed up today, some of the balls were helped by the wind, but some of those balls were just hit really hard,” Hurdle said.  “What a day Diaz had at the plate, you look at Bell going opposite right-center field, that ball he hit was a missile.  There were so many guys that threw something in, Dickerson had a really nice battle at bat.  A real fight at bat and he was able to get the ball in a place where they couldn’t make a play and drive in three runs in an inning that could have gotten away from us and didn’t even talk about Polanco and more strong swings from him again.”

Bell says he’s 100 percent better than where he was last year at this time as he’s hitting .250 with a couple of homers and 7 RBI.

“I was actually talking to Tom Prince about only pulling my homers, I think I only hit one oppo last year and I joked with him after ‘I have no backside pop, huh?’, Bell said.  “It was cool to see.”

For Diaz, it’s the first time he’s really had a chance, and likely will make the Opening Day roster.  The 27-year-old said it’s starting to come for him.

“I feel great at the plate, I’ve been working hard to try and do my best every at bat,” Diaz said.  “I stay with my plan, use the middle of the field, trusting my hands and trusting my instincts.”

Hurdle has a saying this time of year “the games matter, but they don’t count”, they soon will count and performances like Friday could at least boost confidence heading into March 29 in Detroit.