April 12th, 2024

Peguero’s two-run homer in eighth inning lifts Pirates over Blue Jays

By The Canadian Press on March 5, 2024.

Pittsburgh Pirates' Ji Hwan Bae steals second base as Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, left, waits for the throw in the third inning of a spring training baseball game Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Bradenton, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charlie Neibergall

BRADENTON, Fla. – Liover Peguero hit a game-winning two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Tuesday in spring training baseball action.

Toronto took a 5-3 lead in the top of the eighth on Will Robertson’s RBI double followed by Miguel Hiraldo’s run-scoring single.

The Pirates loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the eighth, then Ali Sanchez scored when Jase Bowen flied into a double play.

Peguero followed with his winning homer off Hayden Juenger.

Toronto opened the scoring in the third when Santiago Espinal scored on a Daulton Varsho groundout.

The Jays took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth when Nathan Lukes hit a double that scored Espinal before being driven home by a Bo Bichette single.

Oneil Cruz’s solo shot in the bottom of the fifth cut Toronto’s lead to 3-1.

Peguero scored on a fielder’s choice and Tsung-Che Cheng hit a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game 3-3.

J.C. Flowers got the final out of the eighth inning to pick up the win for Pittsburgh (5-6). Sean Sullivan pitched the ninth to earn the save.

Juenger was tagged with the loss for Toronto (3-8).

Toronto Starter Jose Berrios pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three while surrendering two hits and a walk. He has yet to give up a run this spring.

The Blue Jays have a day off Wednesday before taking on Detroit in Lakeland, Fla., on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2024.

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