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Kang, Gonzalez win starting jobs in Pirates' infield

Jung Ho Kang and Erik Gonzalez have won starting jobs in the infield with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

General manager Neal Huntington said Monday that Kang has beaten out Colin Moran at third base and Erik Gonzalez has won the shortstop competition over Kevin Newman.

"It was not an easy decision because all four guys, in their own way, had legitimate claims to be the regular," Huntington said.

Chicago White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada reaches for a foul ball hit by San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval in the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 18, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoSue Ogrocki)

Kang is just 5 for 28 (.185) with 13 strikeouts this spring but all five hits have been solo home runs. Moran was 6 for 28 (.214) with a double and a homer through the weekend.

Moran, however, had committed four errors while Kang had two.

"The power has been real," manager Clint Hurdle said of Kang. "It's spring training, but it's five homers. We don't have anybody else that's hit five homers."

Colorado Rockies' Kyle Freeland watches his bunt head toward the infield in the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, March 18, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Freeland was out on the sacrifice, sending Rockies' Chris Iannetta to third base on the play. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

Kang missed the entire 2017 season and the beginning of 2018 because he was unable to secure a work visa to travel from his native South Korea following a third DUI arrest. He then underwent wrist surgery last year before returning to the Pirates for the final three games of the season.

The Pirates beat the Rays 4-2 on Monday behind a strong start from Nick Kingham, who made his final bid for the fifth starter job. Kingham retired his first 11 batters, struck out five and allowed two hits over five scoreless innings.

Charlie Morton allowed two runs over five innings for Tampa Bay against his former team.

Chicago White Sox's Yonder Alonso is congratulated in the dugout following his two-run home run in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Monday, March 18, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoSue Ogrocki)

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An injured Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor watches teammates from the dugout during the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Monday, March 18, 2019, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

BLUE JAYS 3, TIGERS (SS) 2

Teoscar Hernandez homered in the first inning and Clayton Richard pitched six solid innings for Toronto. Richard allowed two runs and three hits while striking out six. Dalton Pompey added three hits.

Daniel Norris allowed three runs in three innings for Detroit. Gordon Beckham had a solo homer in the first.

MARLINS 7, NATIONALS (SS) 1

Caleb Smith struck out seven in five innings of one-run ball for Miami. Peter O'Brien had two hits and five RBIs, and Austin Dean had three hits.

Patrick Corbin allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings, striking out five. Ryan Zimmerman singled and scored for Washington, which had just three hits.

ORIOLES 14, TIGERS (SS) 1

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TWINS 4, RED SOX 1

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CARDINALS 4, PHILLIES 1

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NATIONALS (SS) 6, METS 5

Spencer Kieboom homered, had two hits and three RBIs for the Nationals, and his brother, Carter Kieboom, also had two hits. Joe Ross allowed two hits in three innings.

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GIANTS 5, WHITE SOX 2

Tyler Beede struck out three in two innings, allowing two runs and four hits for San Francisco. Steven Duggar had two hits and Donovan Solano drove in two.

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PADRES 3, INDIANS 1

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