Osuna still hitting home runs

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Thanks to a little home-run power, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4, on Monday at Charlotte Sports Park.

Tampa starter Blake Snell hit David Freese with a pitch to lead off the fourth, then fell behind 3-1 to Jose Osuna, who then hit Snell’s next pitch for a 2-1 lead. It was Osuna’s fifth homer of the spring, which leads the team.

For Tampa Bay, Kevin Kiermaier legged out an infield hit in the first inning, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a single. He finished the day 2-for-2 with an RBI.

For the Pirates,Jordy Mercer added to the lead with a two-run homer off Snell in the fifth, putting his team up 4-1.

Right-hander Jameson Taillon, the Pirates’ No. 2 starter, allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four over 4-plus innings of work.

“Overall I thought it was OK,” Taillon told mlb.com. “I got my pitches in, got my work in. Good and bad. Thought my delivery was kind of inconsistent. I’d nail some pitches consistently, a couple in a row. I’d lose it for a second. I’d find my way back into it. That’s kind of the fight. 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. Got some good work in.”

— From Mirror reports