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Pre-game at Minnesota

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Today will be Brian Burres’ third appearance but first start of spring for the Pirates. He got the win in relief on Feb. 27 against the Rays, pitching two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one hit, and also pitched two scoreless innings in relief against the Phillies on Friday. The 29-year-old right-hander made 13 starts with the Pirates last year, going 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 20 games.

Also, it’s been mentioned more than a few times that base-running has been a focal point this spring. The Pirates no longer lead the majors in the stolen base category – they have 16, tied with the Dodgers and behind the Angels with 17 and the Royals with 20. However, an interesting note is that going into today’s game they’ve stolen 16 bases in their first 11 games. Last spring they stole 16 bases in all of spring training, a total of 29 games.

Here’s are the lineups for today:
For the Pirates – Andrew McCutchen (CF), Jose Tabata (LF), Pedro Alvarez (3B), Lyle Overbay (1B), Neil Walker (2B), Garrett Jones (RF), Ronny Cedeno (SS), Ryan Doumit (C), Burres (RHP).

For the Twins – Ben Revere (LF), Tsuyoshi Nishioka (2B), Danny Valencia (DH), Matt Brown (3B), Matt Tolbert (1B), Brian Dinkelman (RF), Jason Repko (CF), Alexi Casilla (SS), Drew Butera (C).

Coming tomorrow, a four-inning starting appearance by Kevin Correia at the Yankees. It will be the first of back-to-back night games for the Pirates, who host the Orioles on Thursday.

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