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BRADENTON, Fla. — Ray Olmedo’s second single of the game snapped a tie in the seventh inning Saturday and the Twins went on to a 5-4 exhibition victory over the Pirates.
Olmedo’s single off Vin Mazzaro drove in Eduardo Escobar, who had doubled with one away.
The Twins tied it at 1 in the fifth, as A.J. Burnett became the first Pirates starter to pitch that deep. Brandon Boggs led off with a double down the right-field line and worked his way home after Brian Dinkelman’s grounder and Josmil Pinto’s sacrifice fly.
Burnett departed after issuing a two-out walk to Escobar. Jared Hughes gave up consecutive singles to Olmedo and Darin Mastroianni to let in the tie-breaking run.
Ivan De Jesus had knotted it at 2 when he led off the fifth with a homer off Casey Fien. That was the Pirates’ first home run in 70 innings since March 1.
The Bucs had scored an unearned run in the first after center fielder Joe Benson was charged with an error for bumping into Mastroianni as the right fielder was about to catch Travis Snider’s fly ball. Alex Presley, who had led off with an infield single, eventually scored on Clint Robinson’s one-out sacrifice fly.
Up next: The Pirates will play their second, and final, split-squad games of the spring on Sunday, dividing to travel to Fort Myers, Fla., for a rematch with the Twins and to Sarasota, Fla.,to engage the Orioles, both at 1:05 p.m. ET. It will be a tough call for local fans, as Russell Martin will make his catching return forming a battery with Gerrit Cole in Sarasota, and Brandon Inge debuts at third base in Fort Myers.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.