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Peguero's two-run homer in eighth inning lifts Pirates over Blue Jays

Pittsburgh Pirates Liover Peguero

BRADENTON, Fla. — Liover Peguero hit a game-winning two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Tuesday in spring training baseball action.

Toronto took a 5-3 lead in the top of the eighth on Will Robertson's RBI double followed by Miguel Hiraldo's run-scoring single.

The Pirates loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the eighth, then Ali Sanchez scored when Jase Bowen flied into a double play.

Peguero followed with his winning homer off Hayden Juenger.

Toronto opened the scoring in the third when Santiago Espinal scored on a Daulton Varsho groundout.

The Jays took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth when Nathan Lukes hit a double that scored Espinal before being driven home by a Bo Bichette single.

Oneil Cruz's solo shot in the bottom of the fifth cut Toronto's lead to 3-1.

Peguero scored on a fielder's choice and Tsung-Che Cheng hit a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game 3-3.

J.C. Flowers got the final out of the eighth inning to pick up the win for Pittsburgh (5-6). Sean Sullivan pitched the ninth to earn the save.

Juenger was tagged with the loss for Toronto (3-8).

Toronto Starter Jose Berrios pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three while surrendering two hits and a walk. He has yet to give up a run this spring.

The Blue Jays have a day off Wednesday before taking on Detroit in Lakeland, Fla., on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2024.