Phillies 8, Pirates 2
Pirates record: 19-11
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Key inning: The Phillies struck for two solo home runs off Pirates ace Gerrit Cole in the first inning.
Pirates’ big bat: Jordy Mercer went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored.
Pirates’ starter watch: Gerrit Cole gave up three runs and four hits in three innings, while Trevor Williams struck out six batters over four scoreless relief innings.
What Trevor Williams said: “It was an aggressive fastball. I wanted to get ahead of hitters, and really establish my fastball down. I thought I did a great job with that. We threw more sinkers (Wednesday). It was my first time throwing to (Jacob) Stallings all spring and it was kind of a nice little reunion at the end. We picked up where we left off from last season me and him together. It was great to work with him again.”
What Neal Huntington said: “We’ve seen some flashes of the guy we felt like we were getting when we traded for (Drew Hutchison) with the crispness of the fastball, the ability to keep that in the middle of the plate, sharpness of the breaking ball and a very effective change-up. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen way too much of the fastball catching too much of the plate and the other pitches not being as sharp.”
Roster moves: Drew Hutchison was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, and reliever Jared Hughes was placed on unconditional release waivers.
Who: Pirates (19-11) at Blue Jays (11-18)
When: Friday, 7 p.m., and Saturday, 1 p.m.
Starting pitchers: Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillong is expected to start against Toronto’s Marcus Stroman in the first game. Chad Kuch is expected to start against Francisco Liriano in the April 1 spring training finale.