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Rays power past Pirates, 10-5



PITTSBURGH - Evan Longoria and Eric Hinske hit three-run homers off the Pirates' Jimmy Barthmaier in his major league debut and the streaking Tampa Bay Rays quickly opened a seven-run lead in beating Pittsburgh 10-5 Friday night.

In a matchup of two of the majors' worst teams over the last decade, the much-improved Rays showed the Pirates their blueprint for rebuilding, with plenty of fast-progressing hitters who can hit for power. The Rays are a franchise-best 17 games over .500 at 48-31 after winning four in a row, five of six and 10 of 13.

Barthmaier (0-1), a former Astros prospect who began the season in Double-A, was called up because the Pirates are down two injured pitchers and are thin on minor league starting pitching prospects. His inexperience showed. The right-hander gave up seven runs and seven hits in 2 1-3 innings and was in trouble from the start.

Carl Crawford singled and Hinske walked in the first ahead of Longoria's 15th homer, a drive to left-center that made it 3-0 only five batters into the game. In the third, Hinske hit a 3-1 pitch deep into the right-field seats with two on and none out for his 13th. Dioner Navarro added an RBI double later in the inning, making it 7-0.

Longoria had four hits and scored three times, and Hinske and Crawford also scored three runs as the Rays' top five hitters combined for 13 of their 15 hits. Crawford hit a solo homer, his eighth, off reliever Sean Burnett in the sixth for his third hit.

Associated Press

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:36am]


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