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DELAY HELPS PIRATES WIN COLORADO SERIES WITH RED ON THE WAY

The Pirates broke open their game with the Rockies in the 6e inning yesterday en route to a win in Denver. Joe Block has the summary.

Manager Derek Shelton says it was a big day for Jason Delay, both behind the plate and at the plate.

Infielder Jared Triolo appreciated the Bucs’ bullpen arms.

Second baseman Nick Gonzalez said it took a total team effort to win the game.

The win ties the Pirates with the Reds for third place in the NL Central. Both teams are 34-37 and will play each other tonight at PNC Park. Paul Skenes (3-0, 2.43 ERA) faces Reds right-hander Carson Spiers (0-0, 2.33), making his first MLB start and 5e appearance of the season. It’s a 6:15 airtime and 6:40 first pitch on WCCS.

On The Ben Cherington Show at WCCS yesterday, the Pirates’ GM said some of his injured starting pitchers are making progress, but none are ready to rejoin the rotation. The Pirates went with bullpen games for two of Colorado’s three starts.

Cherington said injured starters Martin Pérez, Marco Gonzalez and Quinn Priester are working to return and it might not be long before they help the Pirates again. He said Pérez would likely be the first to pitch again because his groin injury is not arm related.

Cherington has also provided the Pirates’ Indianapolis Triple-A team with other potential starters who could help the Pirates, including Major League veterans Daulton Jefferies, Luis Cessa and Jake Woodford. Jefferies, he said, could be recalled “at any time.” And if you’re looking for a dark horse, recently promoted right-hander Braxton Ashcraft could be an option a little further into the season.

Ashcraft has been turning heads since Spring Training and is all the way back from Tommy John surgery in 2021.

The Bucs general manager also said that Top Ten prospect Mike Burrows, who had Tommy John surgery last year, has done very well in rehab in Bradenton and could be ready for live game action in July.

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