Jared Jones strikes out 10 to win major league debut, leading Pirates over Marlins 9-3

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

MIAMI (AP) — Jared Jones struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings to win his major league debut and lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Miami Marlins 9-3 on Saturday.

A 22-year-old right-hander taken by Pittsburgh with the 44th pick in the 2020 amateur draft, Jones allowed three runs, three hits and two walks. He threw 62 of 89 pitches for strikes, including 22 swings and misses. His fastball topped at 99.9 mph and averaged 97.1 mph.

He credited catcher Henry Davis.

“Felt really good. I just wanted the pitches anywhere close where he would catch them and my nerves settled in right there,” Jones said. “Executing the pitches and the spot they needed to be, that was huge.”

Jones (1-0) made the opening-day roster after throwing 16 1/3 scoreless innings in six spring training outings. He kept Miami hitless until Jake Burger’s two-out RBI double in the fourth.

“We should be excited, but it’s also one start,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I think the excitement is this a guy we drafted. This is a guy we developed. And we’ve talked about organizationally, we’re going to have to build our depth from within and this is one of the guys that was a part of that.”

Connor Joe doubled twice, singled and drove in two runs for the Pirates, who had 16 hits against starter Ryan Weathers (0-1) and four relievers.

Pittsburgh also scored seven after two out and had batters reach in eight innings. Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz beat out double play grounders that would have ended innings but instead resulted in runs.

“The more you get guys on base the more you’re getting to the top of the lineup and the harder it is for a starter,” Hayes said. “We just have to stay with it and not try to do too much. Just keep the same mentality of trying to hit the ball hard.”

Miami’s Luis Arraez singled in the seventh, ending an 0-for-13 start for the defending NL batting champion.

Edward Olivares gave the Pirates an early lead with his RBI single off Weathers in the third. Joe’s run-scoring double and Hayes’ RBI single in the fourth made it 3-0.

Ahead 5-3, the Pirates scored four runs in the seventh helped by Bryan Reynolds’ two-run double.

Pittsburgh All-Star closer David Bednar, who had been dealing with a lat issue during spring training, made his season debut with a perfect ninth that finished a five-hitter.

Weathers gave up three runs, seven hits and two walks in four innings. Marlins starters haven’t pitched into the sixth inning in the first three games of the series.

“We’ve had some long innings on the other side. When you’re having 30-pitch innings, it’s tough to come in and provide offense,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said.

Before the game, the Marlins recognized Schumaker for earning 2023 NL Manager of the Year last season in his first season running a big league dugout.


Marlins: RHP Edward Cabrera (right shoulder impingement) is to make a rehab start with Triple-A Jacksonville Sunday. … LHP Braxton Garrett (left shoulder soreness) will have a bullpen session on Sunday after throwing two innings in an extended spring training game Thursday.


LHP Bailey Falter will start the series final for the Pirates on Sunday while the Marlins will go with LHP Trevor Rogers.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB