Pirates 17, Twins 6

Andrew McCutchen was more than glad to share Thursday.

McCutchen doubled and scored three times, and the Pittsburgh

Pirates used 10-run barrage in the first inning to batter the

Minnesota Twins 17-6.

Garrett Jones and Alex Presley each homered, doubled and

singled. The Pirates finished with 19 hits, 10 for extra bases.

”We brought the lumber today. That was pretty much it,”

McCutchen said. ”We swung it. That’s about all that went into it.

People start hitting, and next thing you know, it’s just a domino


Matt Hague homered and had three hits for the Pirates. Jones

drove in four runs.

”I think a lot of guys have matured as hitters and learned from

last year, made improvements and adjustments to make us better,”

Jones said. ”We have the talent to hit well and to be a great

team. It’s just a matter of putting it all together and doing it

during the games.”

The numbers were more than encouraging for a lineup expected to

start a handful of players with fewer than three years of major

league experience. The Pirates ranked in the bottom three in the NL

in runs and slugging percentage last year.

Pittsburgh came into the game fourth in batting average among NL

clubs this spring.

”Our offense, we needed to get some things done in more

consistent fashion,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ”That was

our weakest link last year. It all comes down to better ownership

of bats, better maintenance of bats, two-strike hits, putting more

balls in play and we’ve been able to do that this spring, so we

have some optimism moving forward.”

Twins starter Terry Doyle, who split last year between Double-A

and Class A, allowed eight runs and seven hits while getting only

two outs.

Doyle, a long shot to break into the Twins’ rotation, is also

vying for a bullpen spot. A Rule 5 draft pick from the White Sox in

December, he has given up 10 runs and 15 hits through less than six

innings this spring.

”I just couldn’t locate a fastball,” Doyle said. ”I’m not

sure what it was, but I was trying to throw out and throwing in,

and trying to throw in and throwing out. I left things up in the

zone, and a bunch of bad stuff happened.”

Minnesota outfielder Denard Span had two hits, scored twice,

drove in a run and stole a base. He kept up his strong play this

spring after missing much of last year with concussion and migraine


NOTES: Joe Mauer added a single and two RBIs for the Twins. …

Jo-Jo Reyes got the start for Pittsburgh, giving up five hits,

three walks and three earned runs in 2 1-3 innings.