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McCutchen has big day as Pirates top Rays

McCutchen has big day as Pirates top Rays

McCutchen has big day as Pirates top Rays
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Led by three-hit games from Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones, the Pirates earned their first Grapefruit League victory of the year with a 10-3 win over the Rays at McKechnie Field on Sunday.

Though McCutchen played just five innings, he finished only a triple short of hitting for the cycle. His day began with a line-drive home run to left off of Rays starter James Shields, who allowed an American League-high 34 homers last season.

Shields, who was making his spring debut, retired the other three batters he faced in his only inning of work.

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McCutchen later tied the game at 2 when he singled, stole second and scored on Jones' two-out, fourth-inning double. An RBI double one inning later capped McCutchen's day.

One day after beating the Pirates, the Rays jumped out to an early lead against right-hander Kevin Correia in Pittsburgh's first home game of the spring. Scheduled to throw two innings, Correia was pulled with one out in the second after reaching his pitch limit.

Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings walked, stole second and scored on two groundouts to give Tampa Bay a first-inning run. Consecutive singles by Felipe Lopez and Casey Kotchman and a walk to Joe Inglett then ended Correia's day in the second. Minor League pitcher Ryan Beckman replaced Correia and allowed one inherited runner to score in his 1 2/3 innings of work.

Tampa Bay reliever Chris Bootcheck, who is battling for a bullpen spot, shouldered the loss after giving up the Rays' one-run lead in the fourth. After allowing Jones' double, Bootcheck watched Jones score the go-ahead run when Ryan Doumit's flyball to right-center got lost in the sky and dropped between Jennings and Matt Joyce.

Pittsburgh extended its lead with a pair of two-out runs in the fifth. McCutchen's double was sandwiched between extra-base hits by Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez. All three hits came off right-hander Jonah Bayliss.

In his first appearance since being named the team's closer, Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the sixth. He walked one and struck out two.

Up next for the Rays: The Rays will host the Pirates in a 1:05 ET game Monday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park. Jeff Niemann will make his first start of the spring and the Rays' No. 3 starter will likely pitch an inning. Of interest, Rays fans will get their first looks at right-handers Kyle Farnsworth and Joel Peralta, who are the top candidates to become the Rays' closer. Also seeing action will be right-handers Alex Cobb, Dane De La Rosa, and Cory Wade, along with left-handers Cesar Ramos, R.J. Swindle, and Jack McGee. Manny Ramirez is scheduled to start in left field, with Johnny Damon as the DH.

Up next for the Pirates: The Pirates will split up on Monday, with part of the club staying at McKechnie Field to face the Orioles and the rest traveling to Port Charlotte, Fla., for another game against the Rays. Both games are scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Paul Maholm will be making his spring debut in the home contest. He and Jeff Karstens are both scheduled to throw two innings. Tyler Yates, who hasn't pitched in a Spring Training game since 2009, is also in line to make an appearance. Minor League right-hander Bryan Morris is one of five pitchers scheduled to pitch against Tampa Bay.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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