3/27/2013 4:25 P.M. ET
Alvarez goes deep, but Bucs fall to Twins
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Former Pirates farmhand Eric Fryer drove in three runs, including the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning, as the Twins went on to down the Pirates, 7-4, on Wednesday.
Fryer snapped a 2-2 tie with a single off reliever Chris Leroux with two outs in the seventh to score Byron Buxton, who had walked and moved into scoring position with a steal of second, his second stolen base of the game.
A crowd of 7,141 for the Pirates' home Grapefruit League finale at McKechnie Field swelled the spring total attendance for 15 dates to 93,433, a club record. The per-game average of 6,229 was also a record.
Vance Worley, expected soon to officially get the Twins' Opening Day assignment, allowed seven hits and two runs in five innings, with no walks and five strikeouts.
Pittsburgh Opening Day starter A.J. Burnett, who has been getting in his work at the Pirates' Minor League camp, made his first "A" game appearance since March 9 and allowed four hits and two runs in three innings, striking out two without a walk.
Buxton, the Twins' first-round selection in last year's First-Year Player Draft -- the second overall pick -- was called up from the team's Minor League camp for his first Grapefruit League appearance and had an immediate impact. Batting leadoff, he began the game with a single to center, stole second and continued to third on catcher Russell Martin's throwing error, and scored on Joe Mauer's infield grounder.
The Pirates tied it at 1 on a similar RBI grounder by Neil Walker in the bottom of the first. Minnesota regained the lead, 2-1, on Doug Bernier's RBI double in the second, with Pedro Alvarez's solo homer in the third making it 2-2.
Daniel Ortiz padded the Twins' lead with a wind-aided two-run homer off Leroux in the eighth, and Fryer added a two-run single later that inning.
Up next: The Bucs will break camp on Thursday, with a final Grapefruit League appearance in Tampa against the Yankees, at 1:05 p.m. ET. The game can be heard on an exclusive live webcast. Jeff Locke makes the start -- the lefty's first after being formally named the Pirates No. 5 starter. Next stop -- Pittsburgh.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.