Eldred hits third home run in Pirates' 8-8 tie

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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Brad Eldred homered for the third time in as many games in the Pirates' 8-8, 10-inning tie with the Toronto Blue Jays today at Knology Park.

The game was called after the 10th inning when each team ran out of pitchers.

Leading off the second inning, Eldred launched a 2-2 fastball from Toronto starter Josh Towers high above a tall group of trees beyond left field.

"It feels good," Eldred said. "It's good to show that the thumb, obviously, is no issue and that the power is still there. That's something they might be concerned with."

Eldred missed all but the first 18 games of last season with Class AAA Indianapolis to a badly broken left thumb.

In addition to the three exhibition home runs he has hit in nine plate appearances, he hit one in the team's intrasquad scrimmage last Tuesday.

Minor-league infielder Eddy Garabito broke a 4-4 tie with a two-out line-drive home run to left in the seventh inning. That came right after Jose Bautista's second hit of the game, a single up the middle.

Reliever Brian Rogers gave back the two runs in the eighth, but the Pirates rallied for two of their own in the ninth.

Neil Walker doubled to right to lead off, took third on Garabito's since and scored on Vic Buttler's sacrifice fly. Mike Edwards' two-out single brought another run.

Zach Duke started for the Pirates and had two perfect innings, including three strikeouts, before giving up Royce Clayton's two-run double in the third.

Closer Salomon Torres pitched a perfect fifth.

Relief prospect Dave Davidson blew an 8-6 lead in the ninth. The Blue Jays got a single, a hit batsman and an error by shortstop Javier Guzman to loaded the bases with one out. Davidson struck out Ryan Roberts, but Rob Cosby lined a two-run single to left to tie the score.

Bryan Bullington followed with a perfect 10th.

The Pirates, 0-4-1 in Grapefruit play, face the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow at McKechnie Field.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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