BRADENTON, Fla. – Ben Zobrist homered leading off a three-run sixth inning Friday for Tampa Bay, but Stefan Welch hit a three-run homer in his first spring training at-bat to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat a split squad 6-4.
Welch, a third baseman who played last season at Double-A, hit a towering shot to right field off Dane De La Rosa.
The Rays scored three runs to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Zobrist homered, and Luke Scott and Shelley Duncan had RBI doubles.
Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez allowed one run and three hits in four innings. The right-hander, who's in the hunt for the No. 5 starter job, walked one and struck out two.
Rays starter Alex Cobb worked 6 1-3 innings and gave up thre runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out five.