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Marte, Tabata combine for four runs in Bucs' win

Auditioning for rotation job, Locke allows Red Sox just one run over four frames


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Pirates brought most of their Opening Day lineup to Wednesday's road game at JetBlue Park, and it showed during a 9-3 victory over the Red Sox.

The good news for Boston is that ace Jon Lester turned in a solid performance despite lacking his best command. The lefty gave up two hits and a run over four innings, walking three and striking out three.

"Physically it was good," said Lester. "Everything felt fine. It was nice to be able to get up and down four times, especially after having a little bit of a long second inning."

Once Lester departed, the Pirates went on the attack against knuckleballer Steven Wright, scoring two in the fifth and three in the sixth. Pittsburgh also made solid contact against highly touted Minor Leaguer Rubby De La Rosa, who had been lights-out during earlier outings in camp.

From the leadoff spot, Starling Marte and Jose Tabata combined for four runs and two hits. Andrew McCutchen delivered a hit and two RBIs. Catcher Michael McKenry was 2-for-2.

Making his third Grapefruit League start, Jeff Locke allowed just one run and scattered three hits over four frames. Locke, who is looking to win a job in Pittsburgh's rotation, also notched three strikeouts and walked two batters.

The Red Sox rested most of their regulars, but Jonny Gomes delivered an RBI double in the third. Jarrod Saltalamacchia served as the DH and had a hit.

Up next: The Pirates return home to Bradenton on Thursday to host the Rays at 1:05 p.m. ET. It's the third meeting between the two teams, with Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay meeting in the Grapefruit League opener on Feb. 23 in Port Charlotte and then on Feb. 27 in Bradenton. The teams have split the series so far. James McDonald gets the start for the Pirates.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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