Alvarez, Ishikawa homer, Pirates beat Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pedro Alvarez and Travis Ishikawa hit long home runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

Alvarez and Ishikawa, both left-handed hitters, took advantage of a stiff wind blowing out to right field at Hammond Stadium. Alvarez, the Pirates’ third baseman, connected off former Pittsburgh teammate Kevin Correia.

"He’s a buddy of mine, and I talked to him before the game," Correia said. "The wind was blowing out to right pretty good. I’m like, ‘You going to try to hit one?’ He was like, ‘No way." And sure enough, he got it."

It was the second home run of the spring for Alvarez, who tied Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt for the National League lead last season with 36.

Ishikawa’s homer came off Twins right-hander Vance Worley in the sixth. The two-run shot landed halfway up the batter’s eye in center field.

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NOTES: Correia gave up four runs on seven hits. Correia, who also faced his former team in last Friday’s "B" game, needed 31 pitches to escape a three-run third inning as he worked for the first time this spring with rookie catcher Josmil Pinto. . . . Center fielder Aaron Hicks (right elbow irritation) returned to action for the first time since March 4 and had a pinch-hit homer on the second pitch he saw. Right fielder Oswaldo Arcia (stomach virus) returned to the lineup for the first time in eight days and struck out three times. Shortstop Pedro Florimon took batting practice on the field for the first time since his Feb. 17 appendectomy and could appear in minor league games as soon as this weekend.