After an off day yesterday, the Bucs will be back in action this afternoon versus the Orioles in Sarasota. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05PM and available online at MLB-TV.

The Pirates are coming off two straight wins and hold a 5-8-1 record in Grapefruit League play. The big news in this game is Juan Nicasio making another start after pitching great so far with zero runs allowed in 6.0 innings of work. The Pirates continue to stretch Nicasio out with the possibility that he could make the rotation by Opening Day.

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Blue Jays 10, Pirates 8

This one got out of hand quick as Jon Niese retired the first five batters he faced before the Jays strung four straight hits together off him. Four hits, a walk and another hit later and it was 4-0 Jays. It was a bit of bad luck for Niese on misplaced singles and a play that Jason Rogers could have made at third to end the inning before any damage occurred.

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Pirates-Blue Jays

The Pirates will host the Toronto Blue Jays today in Bradenton with first pitch set for 1:05PM.

LHP Jon Niese will take the mound in his Bucs debut after being traded to Pittsburgh for Neil Walker in the offseason. Niese started 29 games for the Mets last season with a 4.13 ERA in 176.2 innings of work. With the loss of A.J. Burnett to retirement, Niese becomes a very important piece to the Bucs rotation this season.

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Black & Gold Game

Today at noon, the games officially begin as the Pirates will play their annual Black & Gold instraquad game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. The Pirates top two pitching prospects are scheduled to square off against each other as Tyler Glasnow will start opposite Jameson Taillon. Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl, John Holdzkom and Trevor Williams are also slated to pitch. Both lineups are loaded with prospects, but to me the most important thing about this game is that Taillon is healthy and hopefully on the comeback trail to Indianapolis and then PNC Park in the near future.

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