Of note: Jose Osuna clubbed a two-run home run to left field off Rays left-hander Blake Snell. Osuna is batting .417 this spring and leads the Pirates in home runs (5) and RBIs (14).
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The operative word for Taillon’s start Monday was inconsistent. Taillon said his delivery was inconsistent, he walked two batters and the sharpness of his stuff came and went.
“[Taillon] was consistently inconsistent,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
But Taillon navigated well in tight spots. All but two of his 13 outs came via strikeout or ground ball. In the third, a grounder bounced off his kneecap and directly to first baseman Josh Bell.
“It’s what I was trying to do,” Taillon joked. “Just a nice ricochet right there. Now only if the one off my head last year would have just flown in the air to the shortstop, we’d be good.”
Three batters later, Taillon got Evan Longoria on an inning-ending double play.
To Taillon, the start was a sign of maturity. When he was younger, he said, an outing like this one might have snowballed. His curveball lacked bite. His command wavered. But he understands his arsenal better these days, so he relied on his two-seamer and endured.
“That's kind of the fight,” Taillon said. “You have good days and bad days. You try to just shorten the gap between good and bad. I thought I did a good job of fighting through it.”
Taillon expects one more Grapefruit League start and another in Montreal before opening day.
Tuesday: vs. Rays, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton, Fla. TV: Root Sports. Radio: KDKA-FM 93.7.
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