Bay has quiet debut, but Pirates finally win, 5-2

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jason Bay had a quiet spring debut as the Pirates finally won in Grapefruit League play, 5-2 against the Minnesota Twins today at Hammond Stadium.

Bay, the designated hitter, struck out on three pitches and flied out twice to center in his three plate appearances. It was his first action after being held back in the early part of spring training because of offseason surgery to clean up his left knee.

"It was the first live pitching I've seen anywhere in a week," Bay said. "I was a little tardy. When you're not catching up with fastballs, you get to kind of a panic when you get to two strikes."

And the knee?

"Still a little achy and weak, but a lot better than last year."

Bay will DH again Friday against Cleveland in Winter Haven, then could return to full duty as early as Monday against the Indians at McKechnie Field, manager Jim Tracy said.

Tracy added that outfielder Xavier Nady will see his first spring action tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at McKechnie. Nady has been out because of an inflamed intestine.

Brad Eldred failed to homer for the first time in five games played and went 1 for 3 with a single and two strikeouts.

The Pirates were trailing, 2-0, entering the eighth but scored three times on RBIs by Don Kelly, Michael Ryan and Mike Edwards.

Two more were added in the ninth on a two-run single by Ryan.

Tony Armas Jr. had a rocky start, giving up three hard hits in a row in the first inning by Jason Bartlett, Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter to spot Minnesota a 1-0 lead. But Armas was perfect the next two innings.

Marty McLeary followed, and the only hit he allowed in three innings was Tommy Watkins' solo home run in the sixth.

Dan Kolb, Damaso Marte -- making his spring debut after missing a week to a stiff back -- and Josh Sharpless closed it out with three hitless innings. In all, the Pirates' pitchers held Minnesota to four hits.

The Pirates are 1-5-1.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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