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Pirates Alvarez, Kang Start Spring Training With A Bang

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) - The Pirates' hit three home runs and were able to hang on for an 8-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

Three homers were hit – two by players that have garnered a great deal of attention. The other homer came from a player who is continuing to impress his bosses.

Pedro Alvarez went deep in the first – a three-run shot.

Jung Ho Kang blasted a solo shot in the second inning.

Elias Diaz, a catcher slated for Triple-A, slammed what turned out to be the game-winner in the sixth inning.

Alvarez looks to rebound after struggling defensively, offensively and also with late-season injury in 2014. He does not approach Spring Training baseball with a pedestrian mindset.

"They're the games that prepare you for the year so they are of high importance," Alvarez said.

Many players will try to work on a specific element of their game, or create a scenario for themselves in an area in which they're seeking to improve upon. Not Alvarez.

"Other people might be different, but I try to treat every opportunity [during Spring Training] like a game during the year. My main goal is to – end of the day – ask, 'How can I contribute to a 'W?'"

Kang started the game at shortstop and hit sixth in the order. He finished the afternoon 1-for-2, also drawing a walk.

The Pirates face the Blue Jays again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m., but the game will be played in Bradenton.

Gerrit Cole is expected to start for Pittsburgh against Toronto's Marcus Stroman. Vance Worley, Radhames Liz, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Antonio Bastardo and John Holdzkom are also slated to pitch for the Pirates. The game will be webcast on


Manager Clint Hurdle did not have any update on Corey Hart, the Pirates first baseman cut his foot getting into a hot tub on Sunday at Pirate City. It required three stitches.

The Pirates announced on Tuesday that right-hander Brandon Cumpton is scheduled to visit with Dr. James Andrews in Alabama next week. During a live batting practice session at Pirate City, Cumpton reported feeling pain in his elbow.

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