Stefan Welch laced a three-run, two-out, pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the eighth to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in front of 6,105 fans at McKechnie Field.
Jared Hughes struck out two in a perfect eighth to record his first win and lower his spring ERA to 0.96 for the Pirates (11-14-1).
Luke Scott doubled twice and Ben Zobrist homered for the Rays (14-12), who were playing with a split squad. The other half of the team stayed back in Port Charlotte, where they lost 6-3 to the Baltimore Orioles.
Evan Longoria doubled in all three runs in that game, giving him 10 RBIs on the spring.PROSPECT OF THE GAME: The home run came during the first Grapefruit League at-bat of the spring for Welch, 24, who played with Team Australia in the World Baseball Classic. Welch hit .265 in 61 games last year for the high Single-A Bradenton Marauders before he was promoted to Double-A Altoona.
UP NEXT: The Pirates head to Fort Myers today to play the Boston Red Sox at 1:35 p.m. Jeff Locke, who is in the running to win the Pirates' final rotation spot, will start against Boston's Clay Buchholz. The Rays will have a full team again today at Port Charlotte when they host the Minnesota Twins at Charlotte Sports Park. Reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price will start against former Pirate Kevin Correia.