Alvarez's grand slam caps homer-filled McKechnie finale

First baseman's shot one of six home runs by Bucs in final spring home game

Alvarez's grand slam caps homer-filled McKechnie finale

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Starling Marte, Tony Sanchez, Pedro Florimon and Pedro Alvarez hit two-run homers, Josh Harrison added a solo job and Alvarez capped the homers with a grand slam Monday as the Pirates downed the Phillies, 18-4, in the Bucs' final Grapefruit League home game, which was marred by a benches-clearing fracas.

A punches-free altercation was sparked by Sean Rodriguez's displeasure at being quick-pitched by Phillies right-hander Kevin Slowey in the fourth inning. Coaches Juan Samuel of the Phillies and Rick Sofield of the Pirates were ejected during the disturbance. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle drew a later thumb from plate umpire Chad Fairchild for arguing balls and strikes.

Harrison began the game against Philadelphia righty Zach Eflin with his second leadoff homer of the spring, and Marte connected in the third. Sanchez hit his team-leading fourth homer in the fourth off Slowey.

Slowey was charged with six runs in two innings.

Freddy Galvis hit his first spring homer in the sixth, a two-run shot to right field off Adrian Sampson.

The back end of Pittsburgh's bullpen started the game to get them work before substitutes filled the Phillies lineup. Closer Mark Melancon started and was followed by left-handed setup man Tony Watson. Each pitched a shutout inning.

Up next: The Bucs travel to Lakeland, Fla., to meet the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET, and Vance Worley will take the hill against David Price. The Pirates will then host Detroit in their home-season opening series, Apr. 13-15 at PNC Park. This will be the first of five straight road games to conclude the Bucs' preseason schedule.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.