Tribe rallies past Pirates 5-3 in preseason action

Indians players stand for anthem while showing support social justice

Tribe rallies past Pirates 5-3 in preseason action
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Zach Plesac delivers during the first inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Saturday, July 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Source: Gene J. Puskar)

The Cleveland Indians loaded into three buses Saturday for the 2-hour-plus drive to Pittsburgh. Manager Terry Francona said the team adhered to social-distance guidelines — and staggered arrival times — for the team’s first trip since camp re-opened.

“I think it’s a good experience for all of us,” he said. “We’re not used to getting on a bus and get your temperature taken and things like that, so it’s good to go through that.”

Cleveland made a public show of support for social justice before its 5-3 win, standing with their right hands over their hearts and their left hands on the right shoulder of their teammates during the national anthem.

A few fans gathered outside PNC Park, hoping to catch some sort of game action.

Michael Kirkpatrick, 73, and his son, Zac, stood on the Clemente Bridge beyond center field — the same place they crammed shoulder to shoulder during the NL wild-card game in 2013. No trouble finding a spot this time.

“I just need to hear a bat hit a ball,” Zac said.