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Papa Voo



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Here we go, again.

Will the Battlin' Bucs flounder and not make it anywhere near .500 this season?

Will they play a great first half of baseball and then collapse like the last two seasons?

And away we go!

clawmaster
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The Division is up for grabs so the Pirates have a chance to be above .500.

Current standings

Cardinals 10-7
Reds 10-8
Pirates 9-8
Brewers 8-8
Cubs 5-11

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I want to say yes badly. I really thought they had it in the bag last year then the late swoon came. So, well....I don't know.

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The pitching is good enough for them to have a winning season, it's the offense that worries me. The bats were snoozing the first week of the season, but they seem to have been coming alive so who knows.

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I say they finish right at .500

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76-86

Count Grog
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I think the offense is better but not sold on pitching.  Burnett is old, McDonald is inconsistent, Wandy is streaky and never been great or even very good for a whole season, Locke is not starting very many other places and Sanchez shouldn't even be in the minor leagues let alone the majors.  When Cole comes up that makes them better but is that enough?  Plus Cutch and Alvarez need to start to be more consistent at the plate as well

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The Bucs take 2 out of 3 from the Cardinals.  5 games over .500 and now in first place.

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Bucs take two out of three from the Mets with an 11-2 victory! 

20-16  on May 11, 2013

dogfacedgremlin34
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Papa Voo wrote: Bucs take two out of three from the Mets with an 11-2 victory! 

20-16  on May 11, 2013

Too early to start using exclaimation points.

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dogfacedgremlin34 wrote: Papa Voo wrote: Bucs take two out of three from the Mets with an 11-2 victory! 

20-16  on May 11, 2013

Too early to start using exclaimation points.


It isn't for The Bucs.   We are only two months away from the usual collapse!

Count Grog
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21-16 so far the real surprise was they got 1 good game out of Nelson Lirano, I was expecting another Jonthan Sanchez from him.  Starling Marte is tturning out to be the best hitter on the team, only took Pedro Alvarez 41 games to climb above the Mendoza line

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Count Grog wrote:
21-16 so far the real surprise was they got 1 good game out of Nelson Lirano, I was expecting another Jonthan Sanchez from him.  Starling Marte is tturning out to be the best hitter on the team, only took Pedro Alvarez 41 games to climb above the Mendoza line
Francisco Liriano says hello.:)

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Count Grog wrote: 21-16 so far the real surprise was they got 1 good game out of Nelson Lirano, I was expecting another Jonthan Sanchez from him. 
Not bad for a 49 year-old :)

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Bucs 11 games over 500 tied for 2nd on May 24
Central
St. Louis Cardinals 30 16
Pittsburgh Pirates 29 18
Cincinnati Reds 29 18
Milwaukee Brewers 18 27
Chicago Cubs 18 28


McCutcheon starting to come to life Marte holding steady, Alvarez has streaks of power but can't stay above the Mendoza line, Snider, Martin and Jones contribute but its been the pitching, while ace AJ Burnett can't buy a win lately he continues to pitch well, Liriano has been better than ever, Wandy is pitching better than ever, Locke has remained consistent, bullpen is lights out with Melancon and Grilli unhittable

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10 games over 500 but in third place. They would be in the play in game though. A good, young team. I don't see a complete collapse coming but it is the Pirates so that can't be completely discounted. Best division in baseball imo.

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Based on the scrubs the Yankees have thrown out each day, I'm tempted to start one of these for them.

Pirates deserve kudos, but statistics/odds say that they have to get better at some point.

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HBF wrote: Based on the scrubs the Yankees have thrown out each day, I'm tempted to start one of these for them.

Pirates deserve kudos, but statistics/odds say that they have to get better at some point.


Throw stats out the window, HBF, we are talking about the Buccos!  LOL

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Bucs take 3 out of 4 from the Tigers! 

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This is their year. The law of averages.

Count Grog
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hitting looked horrible first 2es against Reds (ok sounded I listened on XM radio)

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Pirates are soo cute

sek69



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Count Grog wrote:
hitting looked horrible first 2es against Reds (ok sounded I listened on XM radio)

They ran into a buzzsaw against the Reds, but luckily there was a series against the Cubs to right the ship again.

I'm excited to see Gerrit Cole's debut on Tuesday, Him and Tallion are going to be a sick 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation if they're as advertised. Considering Cole has been flirting with 100mph, I'm gonna assume he is.

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I'm glad the games vs Cubs on TV today

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sek69 wrote: Count Grog wrote:
hitting looked horrible first 2es against Reds (ok sounded I listened on XM radio)

They ran into a buzzsaw against the Reds, but luckily there was a series against the Cubs to right the ship again.

I'm excited to see Gerrit Cole's debut on Tuesday, Him and Tallion are going to be a sick 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation if they're as advertised. Considering Cole has been flirting with 100mph, I'm gonna assume he is.


The Cubbies are usually a pain in the ass for them.

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sek69 wrote:
Count Grog wrote:
hitting looked horrible first 2es against Reds (ok sounded I listened on XM radio)

They ran into a buzzsaw against the Reds, but luckily there was a series against the Cubs to right the ship again.

I'm excited to see Gerrit Cole's debut on Tuesday, Him and Tallion are going to be a sick 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation if they're as advertised. Considering Cole has been flirting with 100mph, I'm gonna assume he is.

Cole gets to pitch against his girlfriend's brother Tuesday.

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Sweep of the Angels

Let's go Bucs!

sek69



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Pirates club 5 homers to beat the Mariners, Jeff Locke might end up being the best pitcher on the staff before it's all said and done. He still reminds me of the Night Stalker though.

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maybe it lasted a day but on Thursday Pirates had the best record in all of baseball now they are tied with the Cardinals. Not sure how long this pitching staff pitches over their heads (Liriano, Locke, Morton) but Cole looks for real, hitting is spotty but timely. and one day Andrew McCutcheon will really get hot and that will be huge. Alvarez continues to impress going in 2 weeks from Mendoza line to 242 and 19 home runs

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18 games over .500

It's either "their year" or an epic meltdown coming

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First team to 50 wins, sole possession of first place, twenty games over.


....and all I can think of is the fear of a meltdown.

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I know we've played this game the past two years but this would be some meltdown. I mean, I don't think this is a 100+-win team which is what they're on pace for, but a 30-52 finish will break the 20-year streak. Isn't that all you can really ask for? I mean, that's what I'm asking for with the Indians.

The biggest fear I'd have is that of the bullpen wearing down, since a lot of the frontline starters are injured and the guys in the rotation now don't seem capable of going deep into games.

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I think the difference this year is the ridiculous depth in starting pitching they have. They have guys in AAA who in most years would already be part of the rotation if not for the logjam they have. We've already seen the entire rotation from the beginning of the season except for Jeff Locke miss time and the team didn't miss a beat. AJ and Wandy will be back soon enough which should help ease the stress on the bullpen.

If they would use some of those extra arms to pick up a decent bat at the deadline, look out.

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sek69 wrote:
First team to 50 wins, sole possession of first place, twenty games over.


....and all I can think of is the fear of a meltdown.



Now you can finally relate to Red Sox fans.

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It's going to be hard for them to lose 100 games this year

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CanadianHorseman wrote: sek69 wrote:
First team to 50 wins, sole possession of first place, twenty games over.


....and all I can think of is the fear of a meltdown.



Now you can finally relate to Red Sox fans.

I hope not.  Their fans deserve this season, at least the real ones who stuck it out since the early '90s.  Parity diminishes the accomplishment with all these last-to-first stories over the last decade, but still it's good for the game to have them be good for a little while again.

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To set your sights a bit lower, they only have to play .388 ball the rest of the way to break .500 for the first time since 1992.  Definitely an attainable goal.

That said, I hope they kick ass for the rest of the season.

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I'm happy most of all for the Pirates' long suffering fans. They deserve some success. It'd be great to see the Pirates go all the way, but even a post season appearance would be nice. That ballpark looks awesome (I want to visit it someday). Now it finally has a team worthy of such a setting.

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srossi wrote:
CanadianHorseman wrote: sek69 wrote:
First team to 50 wins, sole possession of first place, twenty games over.


....and all I can think of is the fear of a meltdown.



Now you can finally relate to Red Sox fans.

I hope not.  Their fans deserve this season, at least the real ones who stuck it out since the early '90s.  Parity diminishes the accomplishment with all these last-to-first stories over the last decade, but still it's good for the game to have them be good for a little while again.


I meant that even when your team is going good you are in constant fear of it all going bad.

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The Buccos have lost 5 of their last 7 games. 

No offense except for Alvarez. 

Has the collapse begun a week early?

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I'm still pulling for you guys.

I can see the Bravos bats going stale in the postseason and they are relying on too many guys who IMO blow,chiefly Uggla and Heyward. Heyward might be the single most overrated player I've seen in the past 20 years.

The Yankees smoke and mirrors act has been awful to watch but I am miffed that Joe Girardi didn't even make the top 5 in "Manager of the Year" tallys at the mid-way point. At this point, I don't even think it's close. It's Girardi in a landslide with an awful lineup, bad peripherals and more injuries than any other team, and they're still in contention. And I often wonder what the hell Joe's doing and disagree with a lot of his moves and strategy, but he's done an amazing job this season.

Last edited on Tue Jul 9th, 2013 11:54 pm by HBF

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Pirates beat the A's last night after a rain delay so long it seemed like a home game for Oakland our time.

For all the people worried about a collapse, this was the first losing streak since they opened the season 1-5. They ran into some good pitching, including Bartolo "my fat ass is probably going to get suspended next week for PEDs" Colon.

Also Pedro not in the HR derby is some bullshit.

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...and of course literally seconds after I post that, Pedro just got named to the HR derby replacing CarGo.

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A's / Pirates might  have been a World Series preview

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Cubs helped The Pirates by shutting out St. Louis 3-0 last night. I'm rooting for the Pirates. I hate the Cardinals.

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me too.. yeah right...lol

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Pirates win in extra innings.

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Cubs beating Cards 6-1 after 6 innings. Pirates and Mets tied at 2 after 6 innings.

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Pirates 4 Mets 2 in 8th inning. Cards staging a rally against The Cubs.

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6-3 Cubs with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Cards have men on first and second.

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clawmaster wrote: Pirates 4 Mets 2 in 8th inning.

Pirates win 4-2.

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6-4 Cubs after a single by Jay.

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Cubs win 6-4 to help the Pirates!!

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Uh-oh

Could it be?

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Cardinals 58-37
Pirates 56-39
Reds 55-42

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0-2 versus the Reds.  Three-game losing steak going back before the break.  The offense and defense looks horrible.  I doubt the pitching holds up for the 2nd half so they are going to need pop from the bats, but right now it does not look good.  They continue to leave guys on base.  I think they are the worst in MLB with that stat.

Last edited on Sun Jul 21st, 2013 01:19 pm by Papa Voo

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/22/jason-grilli-exits-game-with-right-forearm-discomfort/

Jason Grilli exits game with right forearm discomfort

D.J. Short

Jul 22, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

One of the best feel-good stories of the season took an unfortunate turn this evening, as ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Pirates closer Jason Grilli left a game against the Nationals in the ninth inning with right forearm discomfort.

Grilli was in obvious pain after he threw a pitch that was fouled off by Steve Lombardozzi. He walked off the field with a trainer before being replaced by Vin Mazzaro, who managed to finish off a 6-5 victory for his first major league save.

Grilli has been a revelation out of the closer role for the Pirates this season, posting a 2.34 ERA and 66/10 K/BB ratio over 42 1/3 innings while leading the National League with 30 saves. The 36-year-old recently made his first All-Star team and the cover of Sports Illustrated. He previously had Tommy John surgery in 2001 while with the Marlins.

The Pirates figure to turn to Mark Melancon at closer if Grilli needs to miss significant time. Acquired from the Red Sox in the Joel Hanrahan deal over the winter, the 28-year-old right-hander has a 0.97 ERA and 47/6 K/BB ratio over 46 1/3 innings this season.

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that's not good for the Bucs hopefully its not serious.

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Need anything from the Giants? They will be sellers soon.

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clawmaster wrote: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/22/jason-grilli-exits-game-with-right-forearm-discomfort/

Jason Grilli exits game with right forearm discomfort

D.J. Short

Jul 22, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

One of the best feel-good stories of the season took an unfortunate turn this evening, as ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Pirates closer Jason Grilli left a game against the Nationals in the ninth inning with right forearm discomfort.

Grilli was in obvious pain after he threw a pitch that was fouled off by Steve Lombardozzi. He walked off the field with a trainer before being replaced by Vin Mazzaro, who managed to finish off a 6-5 victory for his first major league save.

Grilli has been a revelation out of the closer role for the Pirates this season, posting a 2.34 ERA and 66/10 K/BB ratio over 42 1/3 innings while leading the National League with 30 saves. The 36-year-old recently made his first All-Star team and the cover of Sports Illustrated. He previously had Tommy John surgery in 2001 while with the Marlins.

The Pirates figure to turn to Mark Melancon at closer if Grilli needs to miss significant time. Acquired from the Red Sox in the Joel Hanrahan deal over the winter, the 28-year-old right-hander has a 0.97 ERA and 47/6 K/BB ratio over 46 1/3 innings this season.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/23/pirates-place-closer-jason-grilli-on-the-disabled-list/

Pirates place closer Jason Grilli on the disabled list

Aaron Gleeman

Jul 23, 2013, 4:10 PM EDT

Jason Grilli‘s transformation from journeyman middle reliever to stud closer will be put on hold for at least two weeks, as the Pirates placed him on the disabled list with a strained forearm.

Grilli left last night’s game in the ninth inning accompanied by a trainer and in obvious pain, and he’s apparently on his way to Pittsburgh to be examined further.

Grilli made his first All-Star team at age 36 and has saved a league-leading 30 games with a 2.34 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 42 innings after coming into the season with five career saves. Mark Melancon, who also made his first All-Star team in a setup role, will take over ninth-inning duties.

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lets see if they keep pace with back up closer

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Pirates beat the Nats 5-1, not only was Cole dominant on the mound he also went 2 for 3 with an RBI. I'm only half kidding when I say they should consider using him off the bench as a pinch hitter between starts.

Also Walker is back from the DL, and with Clint Barmes hitting above the Mendoza again the Pirates finally future endeavored Brandon Inge.

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They still need another big stick in the starting lineup and a decent one off the bench. 

They can improve right field, 1st base and shortstop.

Barmes is one of the worst players I have seen in a long time. Snider is garbage.  Tabata and Gabby Sanchez are worthless.

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If they can get a decent lf or even Justin Morneou to play first and move Jones to right

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It could be over for the Pirates. Jason Grilli is on the cover of SI,  and he's
also on the DL.

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Cardinals 62-37
Pirates 60-40
Reds 59-44

It's possible both wild card teams with come out of the NL Central.

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looks like it

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/26/jason-grilli-doesnt-need-surgery-likely-out-4-8-weeks/

Jason Grilli doesn’t need surgery, likely out 4-8 weeks

Aaron Gleeman

Jul 26, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

Jason Grilli made a visit to Dr. James Andrews to have his forearm injury examined and the Pirates’ closer got some (relatively) good news: He doesn’t need surgery.

Grilli left Monday’s game with forearm pain and was quickly placed on the disabled list, but Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Dr. Andrews has diagnosed him with a strained flexor tendon.

However, according to Brink he’ll be “re-evaluated in 10-14 days” and 4-8 weeks is a “typical” recovery timetable, which obviously means Grilli won’t be coming off the disabled list when eligible and the rest of his season is potentially in jeopardy.

Mark Melancon is filling in as the Pirates’ closer after Grilli saved a league-leading 30 games with a 2.34 ERA in the first half to make his first All-Star team at age 36.

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its that curse of Sid Bream

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Grilli seemed to be losing steam before this injury.  They got some other guys who can close the door.  They need at least one more good bat as a starter.  They can also use some depth off of the bench. 

Last edited on Sat Jul 27th, 2013 12:46 am by Papa Voo

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Current standings for NL East contenders

Cardinals 62-39 .614

Pirates 61-41 .59 1.5 games back

Reds 59-46 .562 5 games back

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/liriano-pirates-crush-cardinals-9-021025088--mlb.html

Liriano, Pirates crush Cardinals 9-2
By WILL GRAVES (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 12 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Francisco Liriano allowed one run over seven dominant innings, Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th home run and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-2 Monday night.

Liriano (11-4) struck out eight and walked just two to win his fifth straight start. The Pirates kicked off the key series at PNC Park by sending the Cardinals to their fourth straight loss to pull within a half-game of the lead in the NL Central.

Clint Barmes doubled twice and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen added two hits and an RBI.

Jake Westbrook (7-5) continued to struggle against the Pirates. He fell to 1-8 against Pittsburgh in his career after surrendering four first-inning runs. Matt Carpenter and Shane Robinson hit RBI singles for St. Louis, which has scored just four runs during its longest losing streak of the season.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle stressed the need to not place too much focus on a late-July series. Maybe, but with the Pirates chasing their first playoff berth in 21 years and a chance to make inroads on the team with the best record in baseball, the game had an electricity typically reserved for early fall in cities far away from the one that hasn't fielded a winner since 1992.

Lower-lever tickets were fetching $100 or more hours before the first pitch, and Liriano did not disappoint the largest Monday-night crowd (32,084) since the park opened in 1992.

The left-hander, whose path to stardom veered off track after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2007, continued to resurrect his career. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and kept the best-hitting team in the National League on its heels while dropping his ERA to 2.16.

The Pirates took some of the pressure off Liriano early by continuing to rough up Westbrook.

As ugly as his record against the Pirates is, it could have been even worse. Westbrook was touched for four runs in the first inning in his last start at PNC Park on April 16 only to have the game washed out by rain.

The weather couldn't save him this time. Neither could Westbrook's usually solid control.

Jose Tabata led off the bottom of the first with a walk and Westbrook drilled Neil Walker moments later. McCutchen followed with an RBI-single up the middle and Alvarez took the very next pitch and sent it into the first row of bleachers.

Westbrook survived a bases-loaded jam in the second to stay close, but by then Liriano had all the support he would need. His only real mistake came in the sixth, when pinch-hitter Tony Cruz led off with a triple and scored on Carpenter's single up the middle. A strikeout and a double play followed, and the Pirates broke it open in the seventh against relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Fernando Salas.

Garrett Jones started it with Pittsburgh's first sacrifice fly to the outfield since May 27 and Barmes clubbed a two-run double as the Pirates batted around.

NOTES: Pirates LF Starling Marte did not start after getting a planned day off in favor of Alex Presley, recalled from Triple-A on Monday after C Mike McKenry went onto the disabled list with a sprained knee. Marte entered in the seventh as a pinch hitter and singled. He is hitting just .131 (5 for 38) since July 20 ... The series continues with a doubleheader Tuesday. A.J. Burnett (4-7, 2.96 ERA) faces Lance Lynn (12-5, 3.98 ERA) in the opener with the Cardinals' Tyler Lyons (2-3, 5.51) starting the second game. The Pirates will not name a starter for the second game until Tuesday morning. ... Lynn was originally supposed to start the second game, but St. Louis manager Mike Matheny moved him into the matchup against Burnett because he wanted a more experienced pitcher to take on Pittsburgh's ace.

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Liriano might be the steal of the year in MLB. It looked like he was done as an effective starter but he decided to work on his delivery and mechanics while waiting for his non pitching arm to heal and he's one of the dominant starters in the NL now.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pirates-outlast-cardinals-2-1-001632308--mlb.html

Pirates outlast Cardinals 2-1 in 11 innings
By WILL GRAVES (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 18 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Alex Presley hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 11th inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Presley hit a sharp bouncer that deflected off the glove of pitcher Kevin Siegrist (0-1) and away from shortstop Pete Kozma, who was moving toward second base. Kozma could not recover and the ball rolled into the outfield, allowing Russell Martin to sprint all the way home from second base.

With the win, the Pirates moved into first-place in the NL Central, at least briefly.

The Cardinals have lost a season-high five straight.

Vin Mazzarro (6-2) picked up the win as starter A.J. Burnett and five relievers held the Cardinals to just six hits. St. Louis has scored five runs in its last 47 innings.

Lance Lynn was dominant in six innings for the Cardinals but was long gone by the time Presley came through against Siegrist.

Pittsburgh has won the first two games of an important five-game set that could shape the pennant race. The Pirates did it the way they've done it for most of the first four months of the season, riding another stellar effort from baseball's top pitching staff and getting just enough offense to win.

The Cardinals had a chance to take the lead in the 10th but Matt Holliday hit into his NL-leading 24th double play with two on and one out. St. Louis went just 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

Presley's slapper capped a 3-hour, 52-minute marathon that had all the makings of playoff baseball. A packed PNC Park - on a Tuesday afternoon no less - buzzed as Burnett and Lynn matched each other for the better part of two hours.

Burnett received a bit of help with two on and one out in the first when center fielder Andrew McCutchen made a diving grab in on a sinking liner by Carlos Beltran. The Gold Glover then hopped to his feet and alertly doubled up Holliday.

Jay struck out swinging leading off the sixth but moved all the way to second when the ball slipped away from Martin, the Pirates' catcher, and rolled toward the backstop. Martin strolled to pick up the ball, thinking it was foul, allowing Jay to reach second base.

Martin, Burnett and manager Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle began an animated discussion with home plate umpire Eric Cooper that spilled over into Matt Holliday's at bat. At one point Cooper came out from behind the plate and walked toward Burnett, pointing at the pitcher and yelling.

The call, however, seemed only to fire up Burnett. The emotional ace struck out Holliday got Beltran to fly out to left and knocked down a grounder by Mike Adams before emphatically firing to first to beat the lumbering Adams to the bag to get out of the inning.

The histrionics were even louder in the seventh when Burnett struck out pinch-hitter Allen Craig with the 113th and final pitch of his day. Burnett let loose an elaborate fist-pump before making his way to the dugout following arguably his sharpest outing of the season.

Lynn was just as spectacular. He needed to be on a day when he didn't receive the kind of backing that's allowed him to enter the game with 12 victories, the second-highest total in the National League.

Pittsburgh scratched across a run in the first when Alvarez doubled home McCutchen, but the Pirates didn't get a runner to third over Lynn's final five innings. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out seven and walking just two.

NOTES: Cardinals CF Jon Jay's team record for consecutive errorless games ended at 245 when he misplayed a single by Pittsburgh's Starling Marte in the fifth inning that allowed Marte to advance to second. Jay's previous error came on Aug. 24, 2011 ... St. Louis sent struggling reliever Marc Rzepczynski to Cleveland on Tuesday in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera. Rzepczynski had a 7.84 ERA in 10 1-3 innings this season with the Cardinals ... Pirates 2009 first-round pick Tony Sanchez will get his first big-league start at catcher in the nightcap.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pirates-drill-cardinals-6-0-031803556--mlb.html

Pirates drill Cardinals 6-0 to sweep doubleheader
By WILL GRAVES (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 27 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen clubbed his 15th homer of the season and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a doubleheader sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with 6-0 victory on Tuesday night.

Brandon Cumpton (1-1) allowed three hits over seven innings to pick up his first major league win. The sweep propelled the Pirates into first place in the NL Central. Pittsburgh is a season-high 22 games over .500 (64-42).

Tyler Lyons (2-4) gave up four runs, three earned, in six innings. The rookie struck out five and walked one but received no help from a reeling offense. The Cardinals have dropped six straight and have scored five runs in their last 56 innings.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina left in the fourth inning with a right knee strain.

The Pirates took the opener 2-1 in 11 innings when Alex Presley's sharp grounder deflected off the glove of pitcher Kevin Siegrist and rolled into shallow left field, allowing Pittsburgh's Russell Martin to score from second.

The fortuitous bounces kept coming a couple hours later. The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the second when a rare passed ball by Molina let Jose Tabata sprint across the plate. Molina was done for the night in the top of the fourth when the right knee pain he's been battling for the better part of a month flared up again. He was replaced by Rob Johnson.

The absence of their leader further weakened the Cardinals, and things quickly fell apart.

While Cumpton kept the NL's top offense in check, Pittsburgh poured it on with a little help from St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday. The Pirates took a 2-0 lead on Jordy Mercer's RBI single before McCutchen stepped in. He drilled Lyons' pitch deep to left but Holliday appeared ready to track it down at the wall. Instead, the ball caromed into the stands.

Lyons placed both hands on his head in shock while the packed bleachers let Holliday have it. Holliday's night didn't get any better an inning later when he overran Josh Harrison's flyball to the wall, allowing Harrison to make it all the way to third.

Harrison never made it home, but by then Cumpton had all the backing he would require.

The rookie, who made a couple of spot starts earlier this season, needed just 87 pitches to get 21 outs. He received a loud ovation as he headed to the dugout, the latest in a series of unheralded Pirates pitchers to rise from obscurity and help propel the franchise into the midst of a pennant race.

The staff takes its cue from ace A.J. Burnett, who worked seven emotional innings in the opener. Burnett struck out nine and walked three while allowing one run on three hits. He was long gone, however, by the time Presley stepped in with Martin on in the 11th.

''It's a battle, it's fun,'' Burnett said. ''Let's roll from here. Let's keep going.''

NOTES: The series continues on Thursday. Adam Wainright (13-6, 2.51 ERA) starts for the Cardinals against Jeff Locke (9-3, 2.15) ... St. Louis sent struggling reliever Marc Rzepczynski to Cleveland on Tuesday in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera. Rzepczynski had a 7.84 ERA in 10 1-3 innings this season with the Cardinals ... Pirates 2009 first-round pick Tony Sanchez went 0 for 3 with an RBI in his first major league start at catcher.

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Current Standings for NL Central Contenders

Pirates 64-42 .604

Cardinals 62-43 .590, 1.5 games back

Reds 59-49 .546, 6 games back

Notes: The Cardinals have lost six games in a row. The Reds have lost five games in a row.

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they are becoming to big to fail

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May as well root for the Pirates, the REDS are turning into a run of the mill ballteam right in front of everybody, they might be the 2013 version of the 2012 Pirates and very well could finish below .500 the way they are playing right now.


Oh well, anybody but the Crapdinals.

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katook wrote: Oh well, anybody but the Crapdinals.

I'm with ya there katook.

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Pirates win again!!

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/31/pirates-acquire-infielder-robert-andino-from-mariners/

Pirates acquire infielder Robert Andino from Mariners

Drew Silva

Jul 31, 2013, 10:14 PM EDT

Despite a couple of valiant efforts, the Pirates were unable to pull off a big trade deadline move. But it wasn’t a completely inactive day for the club. Here’s Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN in Seattle:

    Mariners have traded Robert Andino to the Pirates for a PTBNL.

    — Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) August 1, 2013


Andino was outrighted off the Mariners’ 40-man roster in late May and has posted a weak .232/.294/.318 career batting line in 1,467 major league plate appearances. But he possesses decent speed, a good glove and can play all around the diamond. He will head to Triple-A Indianapolis for the time being.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/burnett-goes-distance-pirates-beat-205930785--mlb.html

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- At 36 and the owner of two World Series rings, A.J. Burnett says he no longer cares about personal statistics.

''It's all about the team,'' the Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander said. ''We've got something special really special going on here.''

Burnett, however, admitted it was nice to get a win Sunday. He hasn't had too many of them this season.

Burnett scattered eight hits and Russell Martin provided some rare run support for the 15-year veteran with a three-run homer that led the Pirates over the Colorado Rockies 5-1.

Burnett (5-7) struck out nine and walked one in his first complete game of the season and 23rd of his career. He threw 110 pitches, including 83 strikes.

''I just felt good for all nine innings,'' Burnett said. ''I knew my pitch count was low so I was confident I could get through the ninth. I take pride in finishing what I started. Those guys down there (in the bullpen) need a break.''

The Pirates, who have the best record in the major league at 67-44 following 20 consecutive losing seasons, maintained their 1 1/2-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis.

Burnett has been on World Series winners with the Marlins and Yankees, and he'd ove to play on a third, especially in a city that has embraced him.

''You couldn't help but hear the fans cheering when I walked out there for the ninth inning,'' Burnett said. ''They've been awesome to me for the two years I've been here and they just give you that extra boost of energy.''

Martin's home run came in the fifth inning and put the Pirates ahead 5-0. Burnett hasn't gotten much backing this season, and owns a losing record despite a 2.73 ERA.

Martin had missed two of the previous three games with soreness in his left knee. He drove a pitch from Manuel Corpas down the left-field line for his 10th home run of the season.

After the game, Martin wanted to talk about Burnett instead of himself.

''He was outstanding,'' Martin said. ''He's been pitching so well and hasn't had anything to show for it personally a lot of times. I'm really happy he got the win and the complete game.''

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead on an RBI single by Andrew McCutchen in the first inning and Garrett Jones' sacrifice fly in the third.

In the fifth, McCutchen walked with one out and Pedro Alvarez singled to chase starter Juan Nicasio. Corpas relieved and gave up Martin's homer.

''I thought Corpas gave us our best chance to get a double play there,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''He puts the ball on the ground consistently with his sinker but hung a breaking ball over the middle of the plate.''

Nicasio (6-6) struggled for a second consecutive start, giving four runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings with three walks and four strikeouts. He allowed a career-high eight runs in his previous start Tuesday at Atlanta.

Nicasio had gone 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in his first three starts after being recalled July 12 from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he had spent two weeks.

''I threw too many fastballs that were balls or they fouled off,'' Nicasio said. ''I had a hard time putting the hitters away.''

Jonathan Herrera had three hits for the Rockies, including a run-scoring single in the seventh inning that broke up Burnett's shutout bid. Michael Cuddyer added two this.

''That's a good offensive club,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''They can do some things and A.J. was able to work through the middle of the order pretty efficiently. Again, very aggressive, very focused. Ball's down. He took it to 'em.''

NOTES: Colorado LF Carlos Gonzalez returned to the lineup after not starting for four straight games because of a sprained right wrist and went 1 for 4. ... Rockies rookie 3B Nolan Arenado got his first day off since the All-Star break. ... Pittsburgh RHP Jason Grilli, who has 30 saves, hopes to begin playing catch this week. He has been on the disabled list since July 23 with a strained right forearm. ... Both teams are off Monday before opening three-game series Tuesday night. The Pirates will host the Miami Marlins with LHP Jeff Locke (9-3, 2.36) starting against RHP Henderson Alvarez (2-1, 2.61). Colorado will play the Mets at New York with RHP Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 3.15) pitching against RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 2.08).

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I was at the game today, and AJ was just dealing out there. The score doesn't indicate how one sided the game was, he didn't even hit 100 pitches until the 8th inning. I was glad to see him get a win, he's had a lot of good to great performances turn into no decisions or 2-1 losses due to no run support.

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katook wrote: May as well root for the Pirates, the REDS are turning into a run of the mill ballteam right in front of everybody, they might be the 2013 version of the 2012 Pirates and very well could finish below .500 the way they are playing right now.


Oh well, anybody but the Crapdinals.


Oh, balls to the lot of you :)

But it's good seeing the Pirates play like this, absolutely. I was a bit worried without the Astros to beat on every year, the NL Central would be full of near-500 clubs, but I've really been enjoying all of it.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/harrison-homers-pirates-slip-marlins-021510026--mlb.html

Harrison homers, Pirates slip by Marlins 4-3
By WILL GRAVES (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 42 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Josh Harrison homered leading off the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.

Harrison sent a fastball from Miami's Mike Dunn (2-3) into the first row of seats in left-center field for his first career walk-off homer.

Dunn had worked out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the eighth.

Bryan Morris (5-4) pitched a perfect top of the ninth for the victory. The Pirates have won three straight and are a season-high 24 games over .500 (68-44).

Neil Walker had three hits for the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen had two hits, including a two-run double, for Pittsburgh.

Donovan Solano went 3 for 5 for the Marlins but Miami left 11 runners on base.

Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke has been one of baseball's biggest surprises, the 25-year-old soaring from fringe starter to All-Star. He's had trouble working deep into games since returning from his trip to New York for the midsummer classic, and for a while it appeared he was headed for another early exit after lasting just four innings against St. Louis in his last start.

Miami turned three singles - none of them sharply hit - into a run in the second then added two more in the third behind four straight singles to start the inning. The Marlins, however, couldn't pile on and Locke eventually settled down. The lefthander allowed three runs on nine hits - all singles - in 5 2-3 innings, walking three and striking out four as his ERA ticked up to 2.47.

Locke left two runners on in the sixth. He also left with a no decision as Vin Mazzaro retired Ed Lucas with two runners on to end the inning.

Henderson Alvarez handcuffed the Pirates in their previous meeting, limiting Pittsburgh to just two hits in six innings of a victory two weeks ago. The Pirates, however, briefly figured him out in the third. McCutchen doubled off the wall to drive in two runs and Pedro Alvarez followed with his first triple of the year to tie it.

The Pirates never threatened against the Miami starter again, and Alvarez left after seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out six while not issuing a walk.

That left it up to the bullpens and Pittsburgh's ''Shark Tank'' continued its dominance. Mazzaro escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh and the Marlins went meekly in the eighth or ninth before Harrison stepped to the plate.

NOTES: Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said LHP Francisco Liriano deserves to be in the NL Cy Young conversation. Liriano is 12-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 16 starts and was named the NL Player of the Week after picking up two victories between July 29-Aug. 4 ... The series continues on Wednesday when Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton (3-3, 4.07 ERA) faces Tom Koehler (3-6, 4.34). Morton gave up five runs in six innings of a loss to St. Louis in his previous start. Koehler pitched six shutout innings against the Mets in a win last Thursday.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pirates-win-4th-straight-4-023439678--mlb.html

Pirates win 4th straight, 4-2 over Marlins
By CHRIS ADAMSKI (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 10 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Charlie Morton retired his final 11 batters over seven strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates maintained the best record in the majors with a 4-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.

Morton (4-3) shook off a shaky beginning in which he allowed six hits over his first three-plus innings to beat Miami for the second time in an 11-day span.

Morton, who also had an RBI single, did not walk a batter and had five strikeouts in allowing two runs on six hits. Justin Wilson pitched a perfect eighth, and Mark Melancon was aided by Neil Walker's catch on Giancarlo Stanton's line drive in earning his seventh save.

Second baseman Walker went to his right to stab a ball that was heading up the middle, then in one motion quickly threw to first to double up Ed Lucas.

Andrew McCutchen homered for the Pirates (69-44), who have won four straight and are a season-high 25 games over .500.

Christian Yelich had two hits for Miami, which has lost four in a row.

The go-ahead run came sprinting home in the Pittsburgh fifth when Tom Koehler's pitch to Starling Marte almost struck Marte in the face as he squared around to bunt.

Marte went down hard, and as the ball went to the backstop he jumped up to get out of the way as Jordy Mercer ran in from third.

That was one of two wild pitches by Koehler (3-7), who also hit a batter and allowed four hits and a walk in five innings. The rookie was the losing pitcher the previous time Morton beat Miami less than two weeks prior.

The Marlins had a single during each of the first three innings against Morton, and they took a 2-0 lead when they opened the fourth inning with three consecutive hits. Donovan Solano drove in Stanton with a bloop single over Walker's head, and Logan Morrison scored when Adeiny Hechavarria followed by grounding into a double play.

With one out and no one on in the fourth, McCutchen took a 3-1 pitch to right-center for his 16th home run, the second homer allowed by Koehler in his past seven starts.

McCutchen added an infield single in the eighth, and Pedro Alvarez followed with a sacrifice fly to pad the Pirates' lead. McCutchen, who is batting .359 at home this season, has a streak of five straight multihit games.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed by rain for 36 minutes. ... Pirates LHP Wandy Rodriguez, on the disabled list since June 11 because of left forearm tightness, threw off a mound for the first time in his rehabilitation Tuesday. ... The Marlins have lost five straight at PNC Park, dating to last season. ... Two of the top rookie starters in the National League will pitch the series finale Thursday - Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.69) and Miami's Jose Fernandez (8-5, 2.54). They faced each other July 28 at Marlins Park, when Fernandez had 13 strikeouts in a 3-2 victory.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/martin-pinch-single-10th-pirates-204937544--mlb.html

Martin pinch-single in 10th, Pirates beat Marlins
The Associated Press – 8 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Russell Martin's pinch-hit single with two outs in the 10th inning lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Miami Marlins 5-4 Thursday for their fifth straight win.

Martin delivered his fourth game-ending hit at PNC Park this year for the NL Central leaders.

The Pirates swept the three-game series and improved to 70-44, the best record in the majors. Miami lost a 4-0 lead and fell for the fifth time in a row.

Josh Harrison opened the 10th with a single off Steve Ames (0-1) and took second on Clint Barmes' sacrifice bunt. After Jose Tabata bounced out and Starling Marte was intentionally walked, Martin batted for Jared Hughes (2-2) and grounded a single down the left-field line.

Neil Walker had three hits and two RBIs for Pittsburgh and Marte had two hits. Pirates star Andrew McCutchen was scratched from the starting lineup because of discomfort in his right shoulder, but singled as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

Marlins rookie Christian Yelich had three hits, including his first major league homer.

Starters Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole each lasted only five innings, and neither touted rookie was sharp.

Fernandez gave up two runs and five hits for Miami while walking four and striking out five. He had a combined 27 strikeouts in his previous two starts.

Cole allowed four runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He is winless in seven starts since winning the first four starts of his career.

The Pirates tied the score at 4 in the seventh on sacrifice flies by Walker and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez. They had drawn within 4-2 in the fifth on consecutive RBI singles by Walker and Pedro Alvarez.

Miami built a 4-0 lead by scoring twice in the first and fifth innings. Giancarlo Stanton drove in the game's first run with a double and scored on Placido Polanco's single, then Yelich hit a two-run homer in the fifth.

NOTES: Pittsburgh leads the major leagues with 41 home wins and Miami's 17 are the fewest. ... Miami 2B Donovan Solano was not in the lineup for the first time since July 23 and rookie CF Jake Marisnick was also rested. ... Both teams open three-game road series on Friday night with Miami visiting Atlanta and Pittsburgh playing at Colorado. RHP Justin Turner (3-3, 2.68) will start for the Marlins against RHP Brandon Beachy (0-0, 9.00). Pittsburgh LHP Francisco Liriano (12-4, 2.04) will face LHP Jorge De La Rosa (10-6, 3.31).

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/rockies-rally-6th-top-pirates-052508440--mlb.html

Rockies rally in 6th to top Pirates, 6-4
By MICHAEL KELLY (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 4 hours ago

DENVER (AP) -- Michael Cuddyer was trying to give his team a chance when he tagged up from first on a fly to center.

His hustle put him in scoring position and opened the floodgates for the Colorado Rockies.

Dexter Fowler had two hits and two RBIs and the Rockies rode Cuddyer's savvy baserunning to a big sixth inning and a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.

''He got that inning going,'' manager Walt Weiss said. ''Nothing Cuddy does surprises me. Always thinking, always looking for an edge.''

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 48 minutes because of a weather cell that slowly moved into the area before the first pitch. Heavy rain and lightning hit Coors Field after the scheduled 6:10 MDT start.

The Pirates have lost two straight after winning 14 of 19, but stayed four games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central.

In the seventh inning, leadoff man Starling Marte left the game with a left hand injury and manager Clint Hurdle was ejected.

''X-rays were taken and it's a contusion,'' Hurdle said of Marte.

Things had started to take a turn for the worse for the Pirates in the previous inning.

Pittsburgh was leading 3-1 and A.J. Burnett, who beat the Rockies with a complete game last Sunday in Pittsburgh, was cruising when the Rockies put together a two-out rally.

Cuddyer, who led off with a single, sparked it when he just beat the throw from center on Wilin Rosario's fly ball.

''At that point it's 3-1, get into scoring position and get a big hit,'' Cuddyer said. ''Obviously I didn't know it was going to lead to a five-run inning.''

The veteran move jump-started the Rockies. Nolan Arenado followed with a double to score Cuddyer, Jonathan Herrera walked and pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon doubled to tie the game.

Fowler laced a two-run single to right to give the Rockies a 5-3 lead and end Burnett's night.

Burnett (5-8) allowed six runs - five earned - on eight hits and struck out eight in 5 2-3 innings.

''Felt good man,'' Burnett said. ''I was making pitches when I needed to with guys on base, getting out of jams. I have a tendency to get guys on and work out of the stretch a little bit, but you leave balls over the plate, that's what happens.''

It was a much different outing than last weekend when Burnett handcuffed the Rockies in tossing his 23rd complete game. He threw 110 pitches last Sunday but needed 99 to get two outs into the sixth Saturday.

''Burnett commanded everything that day and really commanded the ball away to righties,'' Weiss said. ''He still threw the ball really well, but our guys made some nice adjustments.''

Tony Watson came on and allowed Corey Dickerson's single to left field. Marte threw to Pedro Alvarez at third, but Fowler dislodged the ball on his slide and ran home when it rolled into foul territory. Alvarez came up shaking his left hand but stayed in the game.

''He caught a spike right on his index finger on his glove hand, but he was able to stay in the game,'' Hurdle said. ''Take some swings and we'll see how he feels tomorrow.''

Marte wasn't as lucky. He fell to his knees and grabbed his hand in pain after being hit by Josh Outman's pitch in the top of the seventh. Marte was clearly hurting as the team trainer examined the injured area.

Alex Presley ran for Marte.

During the next at-bat, Neil Walker grounded to short and Troy Tulowitzki appeared to miss stepping on second base before throwing to first, though the umpires ruled it a double play.

''It was a real athletic play to keep his foot on the bag there,'' Weiss said. ''It was a heck of a play.''

Hurdle came out and argued heatedly that Tulowitzki failed to touch the bag.

He was ejected for excessive arguing by second base umpire Adrian Johnson. It was the fifth ejection of the season for Hurdle, a former Rockies manager who drew some jeers from the crowd as he trudged off the field and into the clubhouse.

''I wouldn't have gone out there if I didn't think he was safe,'' Hurdle said. ''And when I got in I saw Adrian made a good call. He was on the bag. I trust my eyes and my eyes were wrong. When I went out there I really felt confident he was off the bag but Adrian made the right call.''

Rex Brothers gave up a run in the top of the ninth before striking out Andrew McCutchen and Alvarez to end the game for his ninth save.

Colorado starter Juan Nicasio kept Pittsburgh's offense in check before hitting a rough patch in the sixth. With two outs he allowed Martin's third hit, and Martin scored on Garrett Jones' triple to center.

Jose Tabata followed with an infield single up the middle to make it 3-1 and chase Nicasio.

The righty allowed three runs on six hits and struck out four in 5 2-3 innings.

Wilton Lopez (2-4) got the final out of the inning.

NOTES: Marte flew out to start the game to end his streak of six straight hits over the previous two games. ... Rockies RHP Rafael Betancourt (appendectomy) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday. The team will decide after that whether to send him on a rehab assignment. ... Pittsburgh will send lefty Jeff Locke (9-3) against Colorado right-hander Chad Bettis (0-1) in the series finale Sunday.

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http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/recap/MLB_20130811_PIT@COL/arenado-rockies-sweep-nl-centralleading-pirates

Rockies sweep NL Central-leading Pirates
CBSSports.com wire reports
Aug. 11, 2013

DENVER -- Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead double in the seventh inning and the Colorado Rockies beat Pittsburgh 3-2 Sunday for a three-game sweep of the NL Central-leading Pirates.

The Pirates came to Coors Field this weekend with a five-game winning streak. They hold a three-game edge over St. Louis, and visit the Cardinals for a three-game series starting Tuesday night.

Pedro Alvarez homered for the Pirates.

The Rockies last swept a series April 16-18 against the Mets on their way to a 13-4 start. They have struggled the last two months to fall from the top of the NL West to out of the playoff race.

They bottomed out with a 1-9 road trip but bounced back against the streaking Pirates. Rookie Chad Bettis held Pittsburgh in check to keep his team in the game, and Arenado delivered with two outs and the score tied at 2.

With two outs, Wilin Rosario singled off reliever Bryan Morris (5-5). Arenado then doubled down the right-field line to score Rosario from first.

Matt Belisle pitched a perfect eighth before giving way to Rex Brothers, who worked a shaky ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.

The Pirates loaded the bases with a single, double and intentional walk before Brothers got Alex Presley to pop out to third to end the game.

Alvarez showed no ill effects from taking a spike to his mitt from Dexter Fowler on Saturday. Alvarez hit the first pitch he saw from Bettis to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the second inning. It was his NL-leading 28th home run of the season.

Andrew McCutchen drove in Clint Barmes with an infield single in the third to make it 2-0.

The Rockies made it 2-1 in bottom of the inning when Charlie Blackmon scored on a sacrifice fly by DJ LeMahieu. They tied it in the sixth when Yorvit Torrealba scored on Alvarez's throwing error at third base.

The error spoiled a solid outing and took a potential win away from Jeff Locke. The lefty allowed two runs -- one earned -- on three hits, struck out three and walked four in 5 2/3 innings. He left after Blackmon's infield single that put runners at first and second with two outs.

Bettis had a better showing in his second career start, allowing just two runs on four hits and striking out three in six innings. The rookie dropped his ERA from 6.30 to 5.06 Sunday.

He missed out on his first major league win. Manuel Corpas (2-2) pitched a clean seventh inning to get the victory.

Notes: Rockies OF Michael Cuddyer did not play due to illness. ... Pirates LF Starling Marte was not in the lineup after getting hit with a pitch and having a bruised left hand. He came in as a pinch runner in the top of the ninth. ... With the Pirates off Monday, rookie RHP Gerrit Cole will have his next start pushed back to Friday against Arizona as the Pirates monitor his innings. ... Pirates RHP Charlie Morton (4-3) will start the opener of a three-game series against the Cardinals. ... Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin (10-5) will start Monday's game against San Diego.

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/12/pirates-call-up-minor-league-home-run-leader-andrew-lambo/

Pirates call up minor league home run leader Andrew Lambo

Aaron Gleeman

Aug 12, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

Pirates prospect Andrew Lambo leads the minor leagues in homers with 31, going deep 14 times in 58 games at Double-A and 17 times in 59 games at Triple-A. And now the 24-year-old outfielder is headed to the majors for the first time.

Pittsburgh has called up Lambo, who hit .284 with a .926 OPS in 117 total games this season. He was originally acquired from the Dodgers in the mid-2010 trade for Octavio Dotel and missed most of last season with a shoulder injury.

Obviously the power potential gives Lambo a chance to make a significant impact down the stretch, but he also struck out 123 times in 491 plate appearances and had relatively modest career numbers before this year’s breakout. He has experience in both corner outfield spots as well as first base, so Pirates manager Clint Hurdle could mix and match his lineup choices.

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/12/pirates-sign-kelly-shoppach/

Pirates sign Kelly Shoppach

Aaron Gleeman

Aug 12, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT

Adding some catching insurance for the stretch run, the Pirates have agreed to a minor-league deal with Kelly Shoppach.

Shoppach was released by the Mariners in mid-June and briefly latched on with the Nationals before opting out of his minor-league deal after three weeks at Triple-A.

He’ll head back to Triple-A for the Pirates, who recently called up former first-round pick Tony Sanchez to back up Russell Martin following Michael McKendry’s season-ending knee injury.

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Cardinals beat them in 14 innings last night. I still don't think the Cardinals are going to make it to the post season, though.

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Famous Mortimer wrote: Cardinals beat them in 14 innings last night. I still don't think the Cardinals are going to make it to the post season, though.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cardinals-beat-pirates-4-3-052722115--mlb.html

Cardinals beat Pirates 4-3 in 14 innings
By R.B. FALLSTROM (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 3 hours ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Both teams all but cleared their benches trying to end it. One of the St. Louis Cardinals' substitutes finally came through.

Adron Chambers singled home the winning run in the 14th inning for his first RBI of the season, and the Cardinals outlasted the Pittsburgh Pirates and cut into their NL Central lead with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.

''Oh man, that was amazing,'' Chambers said. ''If any one of these guys got that, they'd be jumping for joy just like I am inside.''

Sam Freeman (1-0) allowed a walk in a scoreless 14th for the Cardinals, who saddled the Pirates with their fourth straight loss and pulled within two games of them with a win in the 4-hour, 55-minute game.

''We had a lot of guys step up,'' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ''That was a big, big win. It was one of those ones you just felt you had to win somehow.''

Pittsburgh had four hits the first time through the order against Adam Wainwright and led 3-0 after two innings on homers by Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer. They had six hits the rest of the way and couldn't quite recover from left fielder Starling Marte's dropped fly ball in the ninth.

''He's probably not in a good place right now,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''There's some hard lessons learned up here from time to time.''

Hurdle didn't want to put it all on Marte.

''We got nicked for a run. We had to play five more after that,'' Hurdle said. ''We threw everything out there, they threw everything out there.

''We let one probably get away from us.''

Both teams had chances in extra innings before the Cardinals, who had dropped four of five, cashed in.

Jon Jay singled off Jared Hughes (2-3) with one out in the 14th with his fourth hit. Jay stole second and then raced home and barely eluded the tag on Marte's relay to the plate.

Hughes was the Pirates' seventh pitcher. The Cardinals used six.

''If you were to know the outcome of the game, you'd prefer to save your arms in the bullpen,'' Pirates starter Charlie Morton said. ''They've been so good. You just hope to not put too much of a load on them.''

The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the 13th before Seth Maness got Josh Harrison to ground into a double play.

Pittsburgh got two key outs in extra innings by forcing Maness to bat. Right fielder Josh Wilson was moved into a five-man infield before participating in a rare 6-9-3 double play to end the 11th.

Jeanmar Gomez finished his third scoreless inning by striking out Maness with the bases loaded in the 13th.

Maness was inserted into the cleanup spot following a double switch, replacing Matt Holliday, who slipped returning from a secondary lead and injured an ankle. X-rays were negative.

''I obviously need a little help up there,'' Maness said. ''I'll be a little more prepared next time.''

The Cardinals forced extra innings and gave Mark Melancon a blown save, aided by Marte, who dropped Daniel Descalso's routine fly ball for a two-base error with one out in the ninth. Descalso scored the tying run on Allen Craig's single.

Wainwright was the first National League pitcher to 13 wins but is 0-2 in four starts since then. He has worked seven innings in all of them although he needed 122 pitches against the Pirates.

He allowed three runs and five hits with six strikeouts and a season-high three walks.

Jay had three hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, who have been offensively challenged while going 2-5 on a 10-game homestand entering the Pirates series.

David Freese is 2 for 13 with the bases loaded after shattering his bat grounding into a double play that got the Cardinals on the board in the sixth. Morton threw one pitch behind Freese not long after getting a visit from pitching coach Ray Searage.

The Pirates' defense was perfectly placed behind reliever Bryan Morris for pinch-hitter Matt Adams' lineout to second baseman Neil Walker in shallow right field with two on to end the eighth.

Wainwright got three extra days' rest after lacking a put-away pitch in recent efforts. He still had to fight for outs, needing 33 pitches to get out of the first, although the Pirates had just two hits off him after Mercer's homer in the second.

Andrew Lambo was 0-3 with a pair of groundouts and a strikeout in his major league debut for the Pirates. He got the start after Jose Tabata was scratched with flu-like symptoms. Lambo has hit 31 homers at Double-A and Triple-A this year, tied for the most in the minors.

Morton allowed two runs in six innings against a team that has punished him. He entered 2-6 with a 6.30 ERA against St. Louis and has lost five consecutive decisions.

Notes: Cardinals C Yadier Molina took part in most field activities for the second day and plans on playing Thursday, the first day he is eligible to come off the DL from a right knee injury. St. Louis was 5-7 the first 12 games without Molina, who told reporters it has been tough watching. ... Wednesday's starters Francisco Liriano (12-5, 2.83) and St. Louis rookie Shelby Miller (11-7, 2.89) are both among the NL ERA leaders. Miller lasted just two pitches in his last outing when he was drilled on his pitching elbow on a liner by the Dodgers' Carl Crawford, but escaped with a bruise. ... Marte was hit by a pitch for the 20th time this season, when he led off the fifth. Before the game, Hurdle referred to Marte as a ''Pinata.''

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/liriano-dominates-pirates-beat-cardinals-030520910--mlb.html

Liriano dominates, Pirates beat Cardinals 5-1
By R.B. FALLSTROM (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- For the second time since the All-Star break, Francisco Liriano had dazzling stuff against St. Louis. The lefty shook off the worst outing of his career and saved the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen, too.

''It was important because every game counts, especially after last night,'' Liriano said after throwing a four-hitter in a 5-1 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday night. ''It was a tough game last night and we had to put that one behind us and come ready to play.''

Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones homered for the Pirates, who snapped a season-worst four-game losing streak and took a three-game lead in the NL Central.

The Pirates had a five-run cushion after four innings against rookie Shelby Miller, who didn't miss a turn five days after getting drilled on the elbow and lasting just two pitches against the Dodgers. They're 8-4 against the Cardinals heading into the series finale matching starters A.J. Burnett and Lance Lynn.

''You give up five runs, you just get outpitched,'' Miller said. ''I mean, it's simple. I didn't do very good.''

Pittsburgh totaled just 10 runs during the losing streak and won in 2 hours, 30 minutes one night after losing 4-3 in 14 innings in a game that lasted 4:55. Pirates relievers worked eight innings Wednesday.

Starling Marte was the goat in that loss after dropping a routine fly ball that would have been the second out in the ninth. He contributed a two-run double.

''Everybody tried to help me,'' Marte said. ''What happened last night, I was feeling bad and somebody told me to keep my head up and play.''

Liriano (13-5) struck out six and needed just 94 pitches and is 3-0 in his career against St. Louis. His last time out, the lefty was punished for 10 runs in 2 1-3 innings at Colorado.

Against the Rockies, Liriano said he had no control. He carved up the Cardinals.

''That was the mulligan,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''What we've seen all year, he's just given us chances to win. He's pitched deep into games, he's mixed pitches, he's really been in command when runners get on base.''

Matt Carpenter doubled and eventually scored on a groundout by Carlos Beltran in the ninth to snap Liriano's shutout bid. He settled for his second complete game of the year and third of his career.

''You couldn't really tell what was coming out of his hand,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ''You could tell he had late life by the way the guys were reacting.''

Alvarez hit his 29th homer an estimated 440 feet to straightaway center leading off the second against Miller (11-8), and with one out Jones lined his 11th over the right field wall estimated at 392 feet. Marte's hit capped a three-run fourth, with two of the runs unearned due to a fielding error by third baseman David Freese.

Miller gave up two homers for the fourth time and has lost all of those starts, twice against Pittsburgh. In six innings, he gave up five runs, three earned, on eight hits.

Liriano retired the side in order six times, twice with the help of double plays. A third double play helped him escape without damage in the second when the Cardinals got two of their hits.

In the three starts prior to his clunker at Colorado, Liriano allowed one earned run over 21 2-3 innings in winning three straight starts.

The Cardinals are 3-6 with one game to go on a 10-game homestand that began with series losses to the Cubs and Dodgers.

Michael Wacha, one of St. Louis' top pitching prospects, made his first career relief appearance and struck out four in two scoreless innings.

Notes: The Pirates have outscored the Cardinals 14-2 in Liriano's two starts this year. ... Tabata missed his second straight start but entered as a defensive replacement in right field in the eighth. He was scratched with flu-like symptoms Tuesday. ... The Cardinals left a season-high 17 runners on base Tuesday night. ... Matt Holliday has 17 hits during an 11-game hitting streak but also grounded into his major league-leading 27th double play. He also lined into a twin killing in the fourth. ... Nine of the homers off Miller have come with the bases empty. ... Alvarez has homered two of the last three games. He has 11 homers against the Cardinals in 46 career games.

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Top game, well played by the Pirates.

I just think the Cardinals have got too many holes, and although we've been lucky with replacement starting pitchers, we're just too thinly spread. And we're carrying guys who are definitely not having career seasons (Holliday, Freese, Kozma). Still, Matt Carpenter has come from nowhere to be one of the best 2B guys out there.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cardinals-beat-pirates-6-5-221346793--mlb.html

Cardinals beat Pirates 6-5 in 12 innings
By R.B. FALLSTROM (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 4 hours ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Just a few days ago, the St. Louis Cardinals had no wins when trailing after eight innings and just one extra-inning victory.

They certainly showed the Pittsburgh Pirates they can go the extra mile.

''We did a good job of bouncing back,'' said Matt Holliday, who hit a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning of St. Louis' 6-5 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. ''Winning this game could be very important for us.''

Matt Carpenter had four hits and scored the winning run in the Cardinals' second extra-inning triumph over the NL Central leaders in three days.

''Anytime having a walk-off win, it's a big deal,'' manager Mike Matheny said. ''Jumping on it again it today is just the resiliency of this club.

''You could sense it on the bench. The guys weren't going to give in, weren't going to stop pushing.''

The Cardinals took two of three in the series to pull within two games of the sagging Pirates, who have dropped five of six. St. Louis won 4-3 in 14 innings in the opener on Tuesday night.

''We had a number of guys that had opportunities,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''The great thing about what we're going through is the challenge and opportunities we're all getting.

''It's playoff atmosphere baseball.''

The Cardinals lost the division lead when they dropped four of five in Pittsburgh from July 29-Aug. 1.

Rookie Kevin Siegrist (1-1), St. Louis' seventh pitcher, struck out two in a perfect 12th against the heart of the order.

Russell Martin and Clint Barmes homered for Pittsburgh, which blew a 4-0 lead in one inning. Jose Tabata had three straight hits after entering as a pinch hitter.

Carpenter sparked the winning rally with a one-out walk. He went to third on Jon Jay's single before Holliday grounded a single up the middle off Bryan Morris (5-6).

Carpenter, the Cardinals' leadoff man, leads the National League with 48 multihit games and 40 doubles. He entered with league-leading averages of .366 at home and .367 in day games.

Holliday also had an RBI double and is batting .452 during a 12-game hitting streak.

Martin hit a tying leadoff drive off Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth, handing the setup man his second blown save of St. Louis' 4-6 homestand.

The Pirates hit for the cycle against Lance Lynn in a four-run fifth that featured rookie Andrew Lambo's first hit and RBI on a double and Barmes' two-run homer. The Cardinals responded by knocking out A.J. Burnett with five runs in the bottom half on a two-run single by Daniel Descalso and RBIs in consecutive at-bats from Carpenter, Jon Jay and Holliday.

''As good as it looked early, it's never easy against this group,'' Burnett said. ''They figured me out early.''

Both managers put a heavy stamp on the game. Hurdle hit for two regulars in the sixth and emptied his bench, and Matheny used three relievers in the sixth and seventh.

St. Louis activated All-Star catcher Yadier Molina from the 15-day disabled list, and he announced his presence almost immediately. He threw out Starling Marte trying to steal third to end the first.

NOTES: The Pirates begin a three-game homestand Friday against the Diamondbacks. Pittsburgh rookie Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.95 ERA), who opposes Brandon McCarthy (2-6, 4.73 ERA) in the opener, has lost five of his last six decisions. ... The Cardinals open a three-game series at Chicago, with St. Louis' Jake Westbrook (7-7, 4.11 ERA) opposing minor league callup Jake Arrieta. It will be Westbrook's first appearance since giving up nine runs in 4 2-3 innings of relief on three days' rest after Shelby Miller was knocked out by a liner off his elbow on his second pitch of the game. ... Cardinals reliever Seth Maness, who grounded into a double play and struck out to strand five runners Tuesday night, got his first career hit in the sixth. ... Pirates reliever Tony Watson worked three scoreless innings and retired the heart of the order in the 10th.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cubs-shut-cardinals-7-0-232230120--mlb.html

Cubs shut out Cardinals 7-0
The Associated Press – 1 hour 12 minutes ago

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jake Arrieta threw seven shutout innings and Nate Schierholtz drove in three runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Arrieta (1-0) allowed two hits and struck out seven for his first win with the Cubs.

The hard-throwing right-hander was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in a July 2 trade.

Before Friday, his only other day on the Cubs' roster was as the 26th man for a doubleheader against Milwaukee on July 30.

The Cubs snapped a four-game losing streak with the win and are 7-7 this season against the Cardinals. St. Louis has dropped six of nine overall.

The Cubs had been shut out in four of their past five home games - a streak dating back to Aug. 3.

Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (7-8) walked the first three batters he faced in the bottom of the first inning.

Schierholtz, the cleanup hitter, hit a two-run single to center to put the Cubs.

After Welington Castillo grounded into a double play, Donnie Murphy followed with a run-scoring single to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

Arrieta sailed through the Cardinals lineup. After allowing a single to Carlos Beltran in the second, he got Kolten Wong to ground into a double play in his major league debut.

Those two outs started a streak of 13 straight outs (including five strikeouts) until he walked Westbrook with one in the sixth.

The next batter, Matt Carpenter, also walked to give the Cardinals their first threat of the game, but Jon Jay grounded into a fielder's choice and Matt Holiday struck out looking to end the inning.

The Cubs added a run in the fifth on Schierholtz's sacrifice fly and then scored two more in the sixth on a run-scoring double by Darwin Barney and a safety squeeze bunt by Arrieta.

The final run in the seventh scored on a wild pitch.

NOTES: With the addition of prospect Kolten Wong (who went 0-for-3 in his debut) to the Cardinals' roster and lineup on Friday, former World Series MVP David Freese was relegated to the bench with leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter (who had been playing second) moving to third base. ''I would say it's a day-by-day situation,'' general manager John Mozeliak said. ''I'm not saying (Wong) has to play every day - there are gonna be times when we want to get David back in the lineup - so I imagine there's gonna be some split playing opportunities.'' ... Cubs RHP Matt Guerrier was scheduled to have surgery on his throwing arm on Friday. The surgery, performed by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, is expected to sideline Guerrier six to eight months. ... The Cards' Joe Kelly (3-3) faces Travis Wood (7-9) in the second game of the series on Saturday.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tabata-cole-lead-pirates-over-021609572--mlb.html

Tabata, Cole lead Pirates over D-backs 6-2
The Associated Press – 19 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jose Tabata hit a two-run homer, rookie Gerrit Cole pitched six solid innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Friday night.

Tabata's drive was his fourth of the season and came off J.J. Putz in the eighth inning, putting the NL Central-leading Pirates ahead by four runs. Tabata connected a day after he came off the bench and had three hits in a 12-inning loss at St. Louis.

Cole (6-5) was pitching on eight days of rest. He had his previous turn in the rotation skipped in part to allow veteran A.J. Burnett to pitch Thursday against the Cardinals and also to get extra rest. The 22-year-old Cole has pitched 140 innings between the major leagues and minor leagues in his second major league season.

The right-hander gave up two runs and five hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

The first overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft won for just the second time in his last seven decisions after winning the first four starts of his career.

Tabata's homer came after Gaby Sanchez, who doubled.

Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen had two hits each for Pittsburgh.

Brandon McCarthy (2-7) lost his fourth straight decision, giving up four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts.

Martin Prado had two of Arizona's five hits.

Pittsburgh broke a 2-all tie and moved in front for good with a two-run fifth.

Marte doubled with one out and scored on Neil Walker's double. Andrew McCutchen then singled in Walker to make it 4-2.

Pedro Alvarez's two-run single put the Pirates ahead 2-0 in the third. The hit scored Walker, who had walked, and McCutchen, who had doubled.

Arizona answered with two runs in the fourth. Cole walked Paul Goldschmidt and Aaron Hill with one out, and they scored on singles by Martin Prado and A.J. Pollock.

NOTES: RHP Trevor Cahill (3-10, 4.66) is expected to be activated from the disabled list and start Saturday's game against Pittsburgh LHP Jeff Locke (9-3, 2.43). Cahill has been out since July 1 with a bruised right hip. . Diamondbacks SS Didi Gregorius did not start after going 8 for 47 (.170) in his previous 14 games. Cliff Pennington took his place. . Pittsburgh signed RHP Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league contract as a free agent and assigned him to Triple-Indianapolis. The 15-year veteran was released Aug. 9 by Tampa Bay.

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current standings for the contenders in the NL Central

Pirates .595 72-49
Cardinals .570 69-52 3 games back
Reds .566 69-53 3.5 games back

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/16/pirates-sign-reliever-kyle-farnsworth-to-minor-league-contract/

Pirates sign reliever Kyle Farnsworth to Minor League contract

Bill Baer

Aug 16, 2013, 6:55 PM EDT

The Pirates have signed veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a Minor League contract and assigned him to Triple-A Indianapolis, reports Rob Biertempfel. Farnsworth was released by the Rays on Monday after posting a 5.76 ERA in 29 and two-thirds innings of work.

It’s a depth signing for the Pirates as they have the third-best bullpen ERA in baseball at 2.75. They are all but guaranteed a playoff spot at this point, possessing the National League’s second-best record at 71-49.

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Interesting point the radio guys were talking about during the St. Louis series, the Cardinals only have two guys with double digit HR totals while the Pirates have five as well as two others who will probably crack that list soon. Kind of surprised me since you don't think of the Pirates as team that hits a lot of homers.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/molina-kelly-team-lead-cardinals-234128088--mlb.html

Molina, Kelly team up to lead Cardinals over Cubs
The Associated Press – 1 hour 31 minutes ago

CHICAGO (AP) -- Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer, Joe Kelly threw six scoreless innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 on Saturday.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was pulled shortly after making a mental mistake that let the Cardinals score in the fifth.

The Cardinals led 1-0 and had the bases loaded with one out when Castro caught a popup by Matt Carpenter in short left field. Castro put his head down and hesitated to throw home, looking as if he thought the inning was over. Jon Jay scored from third base and the other runners advanced.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said something to Castro when he reached the dugout. Donnie Murphy switched from third base to shortstop to replace Castro in the sixth, and Cody Ransom came off the bench to play third.

Kelly (4-3) hasn't lost since joining the Cardinals rotation on July 6. He allowed four hits, struck out six and walked three.

A trio of St. Louis relievers combined to allow one hit. Both teams finished with five hits.

The Cubs have lost 14 of their last 19 game. They have been shut out in five of their last seven at Wrigley Field.

Molina homered off Travis Wood (7-10) for a 4-0 lead in the sixth after Matt Holliday was hit by a pitch. Molina's ninth homer was his first hit in eight at-bats since he came off the disabled list Thursday.

Wood retired the first nine St. Louis batters. He gave up four runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Carpenter hit a leadoff double in the fourth and scored on a double by Carlos Beltran for a 1-0 lead.

The Cubs left the bases loaded in the third. Darwin Barney and Wood singled and Junior Lake drew a one-out walk, but Anthony Rizzo struck out and Nate Schierholtz grounded out.

NOTES: The Cardinals recalled LHP Tyler Lyons from Triple-A Memphis before the game. He is 2-4 with a 5.35 ERA in seven starts. LHP Sam Freeman was optioned to Memphis after pitching four scoreless innings Friday against the Cubs. ... Cubs OF Brian Bogusevic, on the 15-day disabled list since July 15 for a strained left hamstring, will report to Triple-A Iowa to continue rehab. ... Cubs RHP Scott Baker, on the 60-day disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery, will make his second rehab start Sunday with Single-A Dayton. ... Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson (7-12, 5.05 ERA) will face Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (13-7, 2.71) Sunday in the series finale.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/diamondbacks-power-past-pirates-15-001629584--mlb.html

Diamondbacks power past Pirates 15-5
The Associated Press – 52 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Martin Prado went 4 for 5 with a three-run home run and Paul Goldschmidt added a three-run shot and the Arizona Diamondbacks routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 15-5 on Saturday.

Prado's 11th homer of the season capped a six-run third inning against All-Star Jeff Locke and put the Diamondbacks ahead 8-0. Prado has driven in 13 runs in his past 10 games.

Goldschmidt's 30th homer came in the ninth and tied him with Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez for the National League lead. Alvarez hit his 30th earlier in the game.

Goldschmidt and Didi Gregorius each had three of the Diamondbacks' 20 hits.

Gregorius had gone 2 for 29 in his previous eight games.

Trevor Cahill (4-10) earned his first win since May 17. He went five innings and allowed four runs and seven hits. He was activated from the disabled list before the game. He had been out since July 1 with a bruised right hip.

A.J. Pollock, Aaron Hill, Wil Nieves and Gerardo Parra had two hits each and Nieves had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the first inning to give Arizona an early lead.

After going 0-6 with a 7.91 ERA in his previous eight starts, Cahill struck out four and walked one.

The Diamondbacks won for the fourth time in five games.

Alvarez hit a three-run home run and Starling Marte added a solo shot for NL Central-leading Pittsburgh in the third inning, enabling the Pirates to cut the lead to 8-4.

Andrew McCutchen had three hits and Neil Walker and Jose Tabata had two each. McCutchen has had multiple hits in 10 of his past 14 games.

Locke (9-4) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings while walking three and striking out two. He is winless in his past four starts and gave up more than three runs for just the second time in his past 18 starts.

Prado's home run with two outs in the third put Arizona ahead by eight and Locke was removed after Goldschmidt followed with a single. Goldschmidt's hit was the seventh in a row by the Diamondbacks in the inning.

Gregorius doubled in the first run of the third and Cahill, who was hitting .063, followed with a two-run single.

The Pirates, who have dropped six of eight, cut the deficit to 8-5 in the sixth when Russell Martin doubled and scored on Tabata's single.

However, Joe Thatcher came on and struck out Walker with the bases loaded to end the threat. Thatcher has inherited four bases-loaded situations this season and has not allowed a run.

Arizona added four runs in the eighth inning on pinch-hitter Jason Kubel's two-run single, Nieves' sacrifice fly and Gregorius's RBI single. Goldschmidt's homer in the ninth gave the Diamondbacks a season high in runs.

NOTES: The series concludes Sunday with Arizona LHP Wade Miley (9-8, 3.63) facing Pittsburgh RHP Charlie Morton (4-3, 3.79). ... The Diamondbacks optioned RHP Chaz Roe to Triple-A Reno to open a roster spot for Cahill. ... Arizona C Miguel Montero, who has been on the DL with a strained lower back since July 29, began an injury rehab assignment with the rookie-level Arizona League Diamondbacks on Saturday. ... The Pirates are hopeful RHP Jason Grilli, who has been on the disabled list since July 23 with a strained right forearm, can begin throwing off a mound by next weekend. Grilli has converted 30 of 31 save opportunities.

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sek69 wrote:
Interesting point the radio guys were talking about during the St. Louis series, the Cardinals only have two guys with double digit HR totals
Yet last season they had five guys with more than 20. It's weird to me, I read the results of the games I can't watch and they'll have fairly big run totals and no HRs.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/eaton-lifts-diamondbacks-past-pirates-224419848--mlb.html

Eaton lifts Diamondbacks past Pirates 4-2 in 16
By CHRIS ADAMSKI (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 2 hours 55 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Once again, the Arizona Diamondbacks found a victory to be worth the wait.

Adam Eaton's bloop double in the 16th inning drove in two runs and the Diamondbacks outlasted the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Sunday.

Eaton's career-high fourth hit came during his seventh at-bat, giving Arizona its club-record 13th win in extra innings this season.

''As long as you want to go, we'll go with you and stay in a dogfight,'' Eaton said. ''We'll play as long as we need to play.''

The Diamondbacks needed seven pitchers Sunday over 4 hours, 39 minutes, in improving to 13-5 in extra-inning games. Arizona's victory was its 27th in its final at-bat, by far the most in the majors. It also was the Diamondbacks' 36th comeback win - second-most in the majors - and ninth in as many games when playing beyond nine innings on a so-called ''travel day.''

''It can be frustrating when you get into extra innings and don't come through, but all you can do is keep battling and our guys do that,'' Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.

With A.J. Pollock and Didi Gregorius on base and two outs in the 16th, Eaton fought off a 1-0 pitch from Kris Johnson and dunked the ball into shallow left-center. A sprinting Andrew McCutchen failed in his attempt at a diving catch.

''That ball wasn't exactly crushed,'' Eaton said. ''He threw a slider and I tried to stay through it, and good things happen when you put the ball in play.''

Arizona remained five games behind Cincinnati in the race for the second NL wild-card spot. Pittsburgh's lead in the NL Central dwindled to one game over St. Louis.

The Pirates dropped two of three to Arizona, losing their third consecutive series.

''We're playing good baseball; we're just in a stretch here,'' Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker said. ''We need to keep grinding it out and keep playing hard. We've played a lot of innings, so it's taxing us a little bit.''

Pittsburgh lost its third extra-inning game in six days. The Pirates have played 69 innings during that span - the equivalent of almost eight games. The resulting weary bullpen was why they summoned Johnson from Triple-A Indianapolis in a move that was announced less than hour before game time.

Johnson (0-1) threw 82 pitches in six innings. He had five strikeouts and allowed five hits and two walks.

''It's satisfying - I just wish I could have done a little more,'' Johnson said.

Johnson is a 28-year-old minor league veteran of 189 games. He was 10-4 with two saves and a 2.41 ERA in 25 games (20 starts) with Indianapolis this season.

''Just a fantastic effort for your major league debut,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''We couldn't ask him to do any more than he did other than to find a way to win that game.''

Wade Miley limited the Pirates to two runs over eight innings and Aaron Hill went 4 for 7 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games for Arizona.

The Diamondbacks (64-58) play their next four games in Cincinnati against the Reds, who are 2 1/2 games back of the Pirates in the division race.

Six Arizona relievers combined to pitch eight scoreless innings. Brad Ziegler (7-1) had two strikeouts while pitching perfect 14th and 15th innings, and J.J. Putz worked around two walks - one intentional - in the 16th to earn his sixth save. Johnson struck out swinging to end the game.

After Hill's bases-loaded single scored Eaton in the sixth, the Diamondbacks had the bases loaded and no outs with an opportunity take the lead. They tied it at 2 when Gerardo Parra grounded into a double play.

Pirates starter Charlie Morton allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts.

Tony Watson allowed a single during each of his two innings, but struck out the side in the ninth. Mark Melancon worked a scoreless 10th and has allowed an earned run during just one of his past 26 outings.

The Pirates scored once each in the first and third on RBI doubles from Russell Martin and Jordy Mercer, who had three hits.

Miley, who has a 2.04 ERA over his past nine starts, limited baserunners. Together with Arizona's relievers, they combined to throw 13 consecutive shutout innings until the offense was able to break through.

''We're always confident because we know somebody is going to get the job done,'' Pollock said. ''We have a lot of good guys on this team and you know someone is going to come through.''

NOTES: OF Andrew Lambo was optioned to Triple-A and C Michael McKenry was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the Pirates' roster for Johnson. ... Starling Marte went 2 for 4 against Miley and has reached safely in 12 of his past 19 plate appearances against left-handers. ... The Pirates were set to leave after the game for the West Coast, where they will play seven games in seven days. In NL games played in California over the past two seasons, the Pirates are 1-11. ... RHP Randall Delgado (4-3, 3.53 ERA) starts for Arizona on Monday night against the Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo (11-9, 3.35).

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/wainwright-jay-lead-cardinals-past-215756321--mlb.html

Wainwright, Jay lead Cardinals past Cubs 6-1
By MATT CARLSON (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 3 hours ago

CHICAGO (AP) -- Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was back in charge Sunday.

Wainwright struck out 11 and allowed one run through seven innings, and Jon Jay drove in four runs with a homer and double to lead St. Louis to a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Matt Carpenter singled in two runs in the third to help back Wainwright (14-7), who allowed just five hits and one walk after going 0-2 in his previous four starts.

''It's as good as he's been all season,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ''He came out in the first and established all his pitches, had great life.

''His curveball was as sharp as we've seen it. That made the difference, it set the tone.''

Wainwright hadn't won since July 21 at home against San Diego and had allowed 14 runs in 28 innings during the span.

On Sunday, he faced only one batter over the minimum through the first five innings and only 26 through seven innings. He also beat the Cubs for the first time since April 13, 2012, a span of six starts.

''I just went out there in attack mode,'' Wainwright said, ''went out there with the right philosophy in understanding of who I was as a pitcher and just made pitches.

''I wanted to let everybody on the field know that I was in charge out there, so to speak. It's a team over there that's given me trouble over the last few years.''

St. Louis relievers Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and ninth.

One of Wainwright's strikeouts led to Cubs manager Dale Sveum and reliever James Russell being ejected from the game in the bottom of the seventh.

St. Louis was already ahead 6-1 following Jay's three-run homer off Russell in the top of the inning.

Wainwright allowed singles to Nate Schierholtz and Welington Castillo to open the bottom half, but the next batter, Donnie Murphy, was called out on a check swing.

Sveum disputed the call with plate umpire Phil Cuzzi from the dugout, then came onto the field to continue the argument following the ejection. Russell was tossed by third base umpire Tom Hallion.

''That's easily the worst checked-swing call I've ever seen. Sveum said. That's why the other umpires are there, to give him help.''

Junior Lake drove in the Cubs' run with a double in the sixth.

Chicago starter Edwin Jackson (7-13) allowed three runs, but only one earned, through six innings. He walked four and struck out three.

Jackson has been stronger in the second half after an 1-8 start. He got little support on Sunday and his defense didn't help when Lake dropped a fly ball in center field for an error in the Cardinals' three-run second inning.

''In pitching, things are going to happen,'' Jackson said. ''It was one of those things you try to battle down and do damage control.

''It definitely could have been a lot worse. You just try to keep them within striking distance.''

The Cubs have scored just 12 runs in their past eight games at Wrigley Field and have been shut out in five of those contests.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina had two doubles in his third game back after two weeks on the disabled list.

Starlin Castro was back in the Cubs lineup a day after being pulled for making a mistake the day before, and had an infield single. Manager Dale Sveum said Castro had atoned for his mistake.

On Saturday, the shortstop dawdled after catching a popup in shallow left field, allowing a run to score and Sveum pulled Castro from the game.

Carpenter's single with two outs and the bases loaded drove in two runs as the Cardinals jumped ahead 3-0 in the second.

With one out, Molina and Jay bounced back-to-back doubles just inside third base to make it 1-0.

Rookie Kolten Wong's deep fly ticked off Lake's glove for an error, putting Wong on second and Jay on third. Following an intentional walk to Daniel Descalso and fly out by Wainwright, Carpenter's hit up the middle drove in Jay and Wong.

The Cubs cut it to 3-1 in the sixth. David Dejesus, who had walked with two outs, scored on Lake's double to the gap.

Jay's three-run homer in the seventh off Russell, the second of four Chicago relievers, put the game away.

NOTES: Wainwright had a season-high 12 strikeouts on April 13 against Milwaukee. . The 23-year-old Castro, one of the Cubs' most touted young players, has struggled much of this season. He entered Sunday hitting .244 with seven homers and 32 RBIs, and was 0 for 16 in his past five games. But Sveum was willing to give him another chance. ''I don't think this kid can get better by not playing today and understanding the adversity that we all go through in a game,'' Sveum said before the same. ... Descalso, a left-handed batter, started at shortstop for St. Louis on Sunday against Jackson, a right-hander. He replaced right-handed hitting, Pete Kozma who played Saturday. Manager Mike Matheny stopped short of saying the two would platoon the rest of the season. ''I am still comfortable with (Kozma's defense), but I think we've all been becoming more comfortable with the innings (Descalso) has been playing as well, and how he's swinging the bat at times. I think you're going to see both of them.'' Kozma, was hitting .223 entering the game and Descalso was at .254. ... Wong, one of the Cardinals' top prospects, started at second on Sunday and appeared in each game of the series after making his major league debut on Friday.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bailey-reds-beat-brewers-9-212041465--mlb.html

Bailey, Reds beat Brewers 9-1
By JOE TOTORAITIS (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 5 hours ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Homer Bailey didn't let the Milwaukee Brewers' earlier success bother him one bit.

Bailey allowed one run and three hits in eight innings, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Brewers 9-1 on Sunday.

Bailey (8-10) won his third straight decision by beating a team that has given him trouble in the past. He improved his career mark against Milwaukee to 2-7 in 14 starts with his first win in three starts against the Brewers this season.

''For some reason this team has usually done pretty well against me,'' Bailey said. ''I never really thought about it, so I just kind of went out there and tried to pitch a little bit.''

He did more than a little bit against the Brewers, thanks to good fastball location and a tough curveball.

''He's got incredible stuff,'' Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett said. ''He was getting ahead for the most part. When guys with good stuff get ahead, it makes it that much harder.''

Gennett's double in the second, and Khris Davis' solo shot in the fifth and infield single in the seventh were the only hits for the Brewers.

''We didn't have that timely hit,'' Gennett said. ''He was down for the most part, in and out of the zone, working in and out of the zone with pretty much all of his offspeed pitches, which makes it quite tough to hit.''

Bailey walked one and struck out eight, including Juan Francisco three times.

''Since we have seen these guys so many times, I am starting to get a better feel for them,'' Bailey said after earning his first win at Miller Park.

Bailey had been 0-3 in five career starts in Milwaukee.

The Reds, who lost 2-0 on Saturday night, batted around in the second inning as an erratic Wily Peralta (8-13) allowed five runs. Cincinnati sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth and tacked on four more runs.

''You play for the big inning, and if not, you play for one,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''To get big innings like that is huge.''

The victory sent the Reds back to Cincinnati with a successful seven-game road trip. They swept a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs before heading to Milwaukee.

''Main thing, we had a pretty good road trip, 5-2,'' Baker said. ''We will be happy with what we got.''

Peralta gave up singles to the first four batters, capped by Ryan Hanigan's two-run hit. A walk to Shin-Soo Choo loaded the bases for Joey Votto, and a passed ball added another run.

The Brewers walked Votto intentionally and set up Peralta to face Brandon Phillips, who was 1-12 against the right-hander. Phillips' two-run single foiled the move and gave Bailey a 5-0 lead in the second.

Peralta settled down for the next two innings, but walked Phillips to start the fifth. He advanced on a wild pitch and took third on a fly ball to the warning track in right. Chris Heisey ended Peralta's 26th start of the season with a run-scoring single.

Peralta seemed puzzled trying to explain his inconsistency.

''I don't know,'' he said. ''Today was a tough day. I've got to figure out a better command with the fastball. I didn't have that much command of my pitches.''

Tyler Thornburg took over, but struggled just as much as Peralta. The Reds batted around for the second time and capitalized on Thornburg's wildness. He issued four walks, including two with the bases loaded, and allowed a run-scoring single to Hanigan, who had two hits and three RBIs.

Alfredo Simon pitched the ninth for the Reds.

Bailey struggled a bit after throwing his second-career no-hitter with a 3-0 win over the San Francisco Giants on July 2. He lost the next four starts, but turned it around with two consecutive wins.

Peralta was totally unlike the last time he faced the Reds at Miller Park. In what might have been the best start of his first full season in the majors, he threw a three-hitter on July 9 in Milwaukee's 2-0 win.

But he allowed seven runs and eight hits, walked four and struck out four over 4 1-3 innings on Sunday. He slipped to 1-3 in four starts this season against the Reds.

''Last start we faced him, we did well against him,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Bailey. ''He's got great stuff, and he's the same thing as Wily. When he's got command, and he (Bailey) had command of all his pitches, he's going to be very difficult to hit.''

NOTES: All 10 of Cincinnati's hits were singles. ... Brewers All-Star center fielder Carlos Gomez missed his third consecutive game with a sprained right knee. He was on the field for several drills and long toss before Sunday's game. He is listed as day-to-day after being injured making a twisting catch while colliding with the wall during Thursday's 2-1 loss to Cincinnati. ... Thornburg allowed two runs on one hit with five walks and one strikeout in 1 2-3 innings. ... Jay Bruce started the Reds' five-run second inning with a single and ended it by fouling out to third. ... Choo was on base five times with two singles and three walks. ... Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo (11-9) faces Diamondbacks RHP Randall Delgado (4-3) on Monday as Cincinnati opens a four-game series with Arizona at Great American Ball Park. ... Brewers RHP Marco Estrada (5-4) and Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller (11-8) open a three-game series as St. Louis visits Milwaukee.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/carpenters-single-helps-cards-rally-044711848--mlb.html

Carpenter's single helps Cards rally over Brewers
By JOE DiGIOVANNI (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It took a few days for speedy St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong to show he can provide a spark for the Cardinals in the NL playoff race.

Wong got his first two major-league hits Monday night, keying a four-run rally with an infield single in an 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

''That was a spark, that's what we talked about when we brought him here,'' manager Mike Matheny said of the rookie who was hitless in his first 10 at-bats after joining the team from Triple-A Memphis Friday night in Chicago.

''It was a pretty good example of what we were hoping for,'' Matheny said.

Wong had infield singles in the sixth and eighth innings, and stole two bases. St. Louis trailed 6-5 with two outs in the eighth when he hit a high chopper to third and was ruled safe at first by umpire Marty Foster in a call disputed after the game by the Brewers.

''That's what they brought me up here for, to get on base, so the guys behind me can drive me in,'' he said. ''That's my goal. That's what I go up there every time trying to do.''

The infield hit opened the flood gates. The single was the first of six consecutive hits, capped by pinch-hitter David Freese's two-run double, and the Cardinals won for the ninth time in 11 games.

''They were relentless right there,'' Matheny said of his team. ''It started with some hustle with Wong legging that out, and guys having some big, big at-bats for us.''

Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered, and Yadier Molina had four hits for St. Louis, which got seven of its 16 hits in the eighth inning.

Aramis Ramirez snapped a 1-for-18 skid since returning from the disabled list Aug. 13 with a two-run homer off Michael Wacha (2-0) in the seventh to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead.

It didn't last long. The Cardinals erupted in the eighth off reliever Brandon Kintzler (3-1), who gave up four runs and six hits while getting just two outs.

Edward Mujica, who was unavailable during the weekend series at the Cubs because of a tired arm, pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances.

Kintzler gave up a leadoff single to Molina, but Jay grounded into a double play. The Brewers reliever needed one more out to finish the inning, but gave up five consecutive singles to lose the lead.

The Brewers thought they should have been out of the inning after Wong's infield chopper.

''I was standing right there, and I thought he was out,'' Kintzler said. ''But from his (Foster's) angle - it's a short hop - it's a tough call from his angle. I have a better angle. If you slow it down on replay, you have to really slow it down. It's a tough play. From his angle, it's tough.''

Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso then singled and pinch-hitter Matt Adams singled to tie it at 5. Matt Carpenter hit the next pitch from Kintzler for another single to score Descalso.

Beltran singled, and Freese then hit the first pitch from Burke Badenhop for a double to make it 8-5.

The Brewers had two runners on in the ninth but Scooter Gennett grounded out to end the game.

Norichika Aoki hit his seventh homer for Milwaukee.

St. Louis starter Shelby Miller allowed two runs on five hits and four walks while striking out eight in 5 1-3 innings.

Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings.

Jay's two-run homer off Estrada in the sixth snapped a 2-2 tie. It was his seventh homer this year and second in two days after hitting a three-run shot in St. Louis' 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Estrada said he threw a curveball - a pitch he didn't want to throw - to Jay.

''It's not frustrating to give up runs, it's going to happen, but it's frustrating that I threw pitches I didn't want to throw,'' he said. ''I second-guessed myself and I got beat really bad on the one to Jay. I threw a pitch I didn't want to throw. There was no conviction behind it. I made the pitch and I got hurt.''

Beltran snapped an 0-for-7 skid with his 21st home run in the first. He had three hits.

NOTES: Brewers CF Carlos Gomez remained out of the starting lineup after spraining his right knee on Thursday night. Manager Ron Roenicke said he could play during the Cardinals series. ... Brewers 1B Juan Francisco struck out four times for the second consecutive game.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/liriano-strikes-13-3-1-045020878--mlb.html

Liriano strikes out 13 in 3-1 Bucs win over Padres
By BERNIE WILSON (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Manager Clint Hurdle doesn't care whether people call Francisco Liriano the Pittsburgh Pirates' ace or No. 1 or whatever.

''I'm not big on labels. I just like to pencil his name in every fifth day,'' Hurdle said after Liriano struck out a season-high 13 to lead Pittsburgh to a 3-1 victory against the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

''I'd never take it for granted and I hope nobody else does when you watch a man go out there and pitch like he does,'' Hurdle said. ''I hope there's some appreciation. He continues to just be masterful.''

Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 31st home run and the Pirates, who had lost seven of nine coming in, maintained a one-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis.

The Padres struck out 17 times overall Monday night, giving them 59 in their last five games. They've lost nine of 13.

Liriano (14-5) tied his career-high with his 14th victory. He helped give some relief to the Pirates' bullpen, which was taxed when three of the previous six games went extra innings.

Coming off a four-hit victory at St. Louis in his last start, Liriano held San Diego to four hits in seven innings while walking two.

Liriano's previous season high was 11 strikeouts on June 1 against Cincinnati. His career high is 15.

Liriano struck out five of the first seven batters and eight of the first 11.

''I was very confident in my fastball,'' he said. ''I threw it in and out for strikes. Breaking balls were easy for me to throw. I got very confident in my pitches. Instead of trying to do too much, I just hit my spot and let whatever happen.''

The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth before Liriano got Ronny Cedeno to hit into a force.

The Padres had runners in scoring position only two other times against Liriano. Cedeno hit a leadoff single in the third and advanced on a balk before Liriano struck out the side. Chris Denorfia doubled to left with one out in the fifth and advanced to third on Will Venable's groundout before Liriano struck out rookie Jedd Gyorko.

''The situation tonight that shows his growth, and one of the reasons he's having the year he's having is his ability to continue to pitch through traffic, to pitch out of the stretch, with runners in scoring position, runners on base,'' Hurdle said. ''He was in command and never panicked when he got some people on base. He made pitches he needed to get out of it.''

In his last four starts after a Bucs' loss, including Monday night, Liriano has pitched 30 innings and allowed only two earned runs.

''He has an explosive fastball,'' Denorfia said. ''He works every part of the zone. He can duplicate his off-speed pitches. It was the first time seeing him this year. There was definitely some adjusting we needed to do. Unfortunately, we couldn't get it done.''

Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances. He allowed Nick Hundley's RBI double with two outs.

Alvarez, who had been tied for the NL lead with Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, homered on an 0-1 pitch from Andrew Cashner with two outs in the sixth to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. It landed about six rows behind the Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 party deck that sits atop the right-field wall.

The Pirates scored two runs in the fourth on two singles and an error by right fielder Denorfia. With Andrew McCutchen aboard on a leadoff single, Alvarez grounded a single to right field, which rolled under the glove of a charging Denorfia and went all the way to the fence, allowing both runners to score.

''I just missed it,'' Denorfia said. ''There really is no excuse for it. It's one of those plays that cost us the game.''

Cashner (8-8) lost his third straight start. He allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits in seven innings, struck out three and walked two.

NOTES: Padres CF Cameron Maybin returned to San Diego to have his injured knee re-examined by club doctors. Maybin has been on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson before the club shut him down. He probably is done for the season. ... Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett (5-8, 3.18) is scheduled to start against the Padres on Tuesday night. He's 1-5 with a 4.93 ERA in seven career starts against the Padres, with the one victory being a no-hitter on May 12, 2001, while with the Marlins. Burnett walked nine that night. ... In his last start on Aug. 15, Burnett allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings and got a no-decision at St. Louis. Burnett has allowed 11 runs in his last two starts after throwing a complete-game victory Aug. 4 against the Rockies. ... The Padres will counter with Tyson Ross (3-5, 2.62) Tuesday night. ... LHP Wandy Rodriguez threw a bullpen session Monday. Rodriguez, who has been on the disabled list since June 11, retroactive to June 6, with tightness in his left forearm, said he still could ''feel something'' in his arm during the session. There is no timetable for his return. ... RHP Jason Grilli was scheduled to start throwing from a 120 feet Monday, manager Clint Hurdle said. Grilli has been on the DL since July 23 with a right forearm strain. ... RHP Ryan Reid was recalled Monday from Triple-A Indianapolis. This is Reid's second stint with the Pirates.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ludwick-gets-rbi-reds-beat-020136086--mlb.html

Ludwick gets RBI, Reds beat Diamondbacks 5-3
By JOE KAY (AP Baseball Writer) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ryan Ludwick had a bag of ice wrapped on his right shoulder, the one that's prevented him from doing much of anything all season. It seems to be finally coming around, just like his team.

Ludwick drove in his first run of the season with a double, and the Cincinnati Reds kept up their August surge, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Monday night for their seventh win in nine games.

The Reds moved 17 games over .500, matching their season high and keeping the pressure on Pittsburgh and St. Louis in the NL Central race.

''We've been playing pretty well since I came back,'' said Ludwick, who returned from shoulder surgery a week ago. ''We were 5-2 on the road trip, and we beat the team that's behind us in the wild-card standings, so that's a good start to the series.''

It's an important four-game series for Arizona, which now trails Cincinnati by six games for the final NL wild card spot. The Diamondbacks have won five of their last seven games, but can't afford to lose any more ground.

''We're hoping to win the next three - that's our goal,'' catcher Wil Nieves said.

Bronson Arroyo (12-9) won his third straight start, allowing three runs in six innings. Aaron Hill hit a solo homer, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.

J.J. Hoover retired the side in the eighth, his 23rd straight scoreless appearance - a club record and the longest active streak in majors.

Aroldis Chapman gave up a pair of singles in the ninth while getting his 31st save in 36 chances. It was the left-hander's first appearance since he gave up a two-run homer to Jonathan Lucroy for a 7-6 loss in Milwaukee on Friday night.

Ludwick got his long-awaited RBI during a three-run fourth inning against Randall Delgado (4-4), who had won his last three decisions. The left fielder tore cartilage in his right shoulder while sliding headfirst into third base on opening day.

He returned a week ago and had a pair of singles in 14 at-bats on a road trip, showing a lot of rust from his long layoff while recovering from surgery. Manager Dusty Baker has dropped him from the cleanup spot to sixth in the order while he gets his swing straightened out.

He doubled down the line at third base during the three-run fourth inning, his first RBI since a solo homer off Matt Cain during San Francisco's 6-4 win in Game 5 of their divisional playoff series at Great American Ball Park last Oct. 11.

''I actually felt a little better tonight,'' Ludwick said. ''I don't know if it was being home in familiar surroundings or what.

''It's baby steps. It's a process. You feel like you want it all at once. You want to hit a home run in every one of your first 10 at-bats. Obviously, it's a rhythm and timing issue. Tonight, I felt like I had a pretty good rhythm at the plate.''

The Reds could use a consistent right-handed run producer in their lefty-dominated lineup. Ludwick led the offense when Joey Votto missed most of the second half of last season with a knee injury, leading the Reds to the NL Central title.

''Like I've said, our best days are ahead of us,'' Baker said. ''We've just got to keep winning in the meantime.''

The Diamondbacks were coming off a 16-inning, 4-2 win in Pittsburgh that left their bullpen worn down. They needed a solid start from Delgado, who came up short.

Todd Frazier hit a solo homer. Brandon Phillips had a triple among his three hits off Delgado and scored a pair of runs. Zack Cozart drove in two with a sacrifice fly and a groundout, helping the Reds pull ahead 5-1 after five innings.

The Diamondbacks loaded the bases in the sixth, and Martin Prado singled for a pair of runs that cut it to 5-3. Arroyo allowed seven hits but didn't walk a batter for the third straight start.

Notes: Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero, on the DL since Aug. 1 with a strained lower back, is scheduled to catch on Wednesday, take a day off, then catch Friday and Saturday. He'll be evaluated then. ... LH Matt Reynolds, on the DL since June 10 with a strained left elbow, is playing catch but hasn't thrown off a mound. ... Hill is 8-for-21 career against Arroyo with three homers. ... Phillips is 8-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak. ... Cozart leads the NL with nine sacrifice flies. ... The Diamondbacks will start LH Patrick Corbin, who hasn't won on the road since June 2, in the second game of the series. LH Tony Cingrani makes his first career appearance against the Diamondbacks.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/goldschmidts-3rd-slam-sends-dbacks-015016309--mlb.html

Goldschmidt's 3rd slam sends Dbacks over Reds 5-2

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Paul Goldschmidt doesn't keep track of his RBIs. The rest of the Diamondbacks are voluntarily doing it for him.

Goldschmidt set a Diamondbacks record with his third grand slam of the season on Tuesday night and became the first NL player to drive in 100 runs, powering Arizona to a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Goldschmidt connected in the eighth inning off J.J. Hoover, ending the reliever's streak of 23 scoreless appearances. His 31st homer tied him with Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez for the NL lead. All of his career grand slams have come this season.

''I hope he's got a big run left in him,'' manager Kirk Gibson said. ''The team feeds off Patrick (Corbin) and Goldy. They've been our most consistent guys all year.''

Goldschmidt knew his RBI total was in the 90s coming into that at-bat, but didn't realize he'd reached triple digits until he rounded the bases and his teammates pointed it out.

They don't mind doing the counting.

''He's impressive to watch play every day,'' catcher Wil Nieves said. ''He's so clutch. He's unbelievable.''

Corbin (13-3) stymied Cincinnati's lefty-dominated lineup, allowing six hits, including Chris Heisey's two-run homer, during his second complete game. Corbin matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. He threw first-pitch strikes to 27 of the 33 batters he faced and didn't walk a batter in his most dominating performance of the season.

''Today I had my best slider,'' Corbin said. ''I felt good warming up in the bullpen. I thought it would be a good game. I knew I could go to my slider at any time.''

The left-hander shut down the Reds' left-handed threats - Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce were a combined 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts.

''He makes some of their hitters look so bad - and they're unbelievable hitters, especially Votto and Bruce,'' Nieves said.

The Diamondbacks evened their series at a game apiece and moved five games behind the Reds for the final NL wild card berth. Arizona has won six of its last eight games.

''We've got some work to do,'' Goldschmidt said. ''There's some good teams ahead of us. It's not like we're one game behind.''

Cincinnati lost for only the fourth time in its last 14 games. A bigger concern: Tony Cingrani (6-3) left in the fourth inning with a strained lower back.

The left-hander has been filling in for Johnny Cueto, who is on the disabled list for the third time this season with soreness behind his pitching shoulder. Cingrani said his back has bothered him in his last few weeks.

''It finally bothered me enough that it was noticeable,'' Cingrani said. ''I felt it before. It came on gradually. It hasn't been this bad.''

Cingrani retired the first 10 batters before Martin Prado hit his 12th homer. One out later, Aaron Hill doubled off the wall in left-center, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. A trainer and manager Dusty Baker went to the mound to talk to Cingrani, who was replaced by Alfredo Simon.

Baker said Cingrani had kept quiet about his bad back until he had to leave the game.

''He didn't tell me,'' Baker said. ''These young guys want to stay in the big leagues and stay in the rotation.''

The defending NL Central champions were feeling good about getting their starting lineup back to full strength with Ryan Ludwick's return last week from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him since opening day. Now, the rotation is in flux as they try to overtake Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

Cingrani's injury spoiled a matchup of left-handers born two weeks apart in July 1989. Corbin, who is two weeks younger than Cingrani, kept the Reds off-balance with his slider.

The Diamondbacks are 21-4 when Corbin starts. He has allowed two runs or less in 19 starts this season, tied with the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw for most in the NL.

He got a few words from Choo after throwing a chin-high fastball to the leadoff hitter in the sixth. Plate umpire Jerry Meals stepped in, Choo pointed to chin and said something, then got back in the batter's box without further complaint and struck out.

Notes: Fans brought more than 600 dogs to the game as part of an annual pet promotion. No fireworks were set off on Heisey's homer so as not to scare the dogs. ... Goldschmidt's 100 RBIs match Adam LaRoche's club record for a first baseman. ... Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero, on the DL since Aug. 1 with a strained lower back, felt fine a day after he caught five innings on a rehab assignment. He got the day off and will catch again on Wednesday. ... RH Brandon McCarthy (2-7) starts the third game for Arizona, trying to emerge from a slump. He's 0-4 with a 6.41 ERA in his last four starts. The Reds go with RH Mike Leake (10-5), who has a 6.12 career ERA against Arizona.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/lohse-brewers-beat-cardinals-6-032024556--mlb.html

Lohse, Brewers beat Cardinals 6-3
By JOE TOTORAITIS (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 9 minutes ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Kyle Lohse beat the Cardinals for the first time this season and Sean Halton knocked in a career-high three runs to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat St. Louis 6-3 Tuesday night.

Lohse (9-8) beat the Cardinals in his fourth try this season and improved to 3-5 in nine outings overall against his former team.

Lohse left after six innings with the Brewers leading 6-3. He earned his team-leading 17th quality start, including six in his last seven. He struck out four, walked two and allowed six hits and three runs, two coming on Yadier Molina's two-run homer in the fourth. Molina doubled and scored in the second on Matt Adams' single.

After John Axford and Brandon Kintzler each pitched a scoreless inning, and Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 22 chances.

Lance Lynn (13-7) got roughed up in the Brewers' five-run fourth, highlighted by Halton's two-run single with the bases loaded.

Milwaukee's first six batters in the frame reached, loading the bases twice with no outs. Scooter Gennett drove in the first run with a single. After Aramis Ramirez singled and Khris Davis reached on Lynn's fielding error, Halton drove them in with a line drive to center that doubled his season RBI total. Logan Schafer followed with an RBI single and Norichika Aoki tacked on the last run with a sacrifice fly.

Halton set a career mark in the fifth with his third RBI of the game. Davis singled, stole second and scored on Halton's grounder into center.

Carlos Beltran singled and scored on Molina's 10th home run of the season.

Adams beat the Brewers defensive shift in the second inning and knocked in Molina with the Cardinals' first run. Adams blooped a single over the head of shortstop Jean Segura, positioned on the right side of second base. Molina was on with a double over the head of center fielder Schafer. The ball flicked off Schafer's glove and rolled to the wall.

NOTES: Kolten Wong, who had his first two major league hits on Monday night, continued getting on base. He went 3 for 5 with two singles and a double. The team's No. 1. pick in the 2011 draft joined the Cardinals from Triple-A Memphis Friday night in Chicago. ... Brewers 1B Juan Francisco got the game off. He's struck out four times in consecutive games. ''If I think he just needs one day, I will get him back in there tomorrow,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. Halton replaced him. ... Lynn is 2-2 in four starts facing the Brewers. ... Brewers CF Carlos Gomez remained out of the starting lineup after spraining his right knee colliding into the center-field wall on Thursday night. He's missed five consecutive games. ... Segura stole his 37th base, matching Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres for the NL lead.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/burnetts-7-strong-innings-help-050858983--mlb.html

Burnett's 7 strong innings help Pirates beat Pads
By BERNIE WILSON (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 28 minutes ago

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A.J. Burnett threw seven strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates had six extra-base hits, including Neil Walker's home run, to beat the Padres 8-1 Tuesday night.

Burnett (6-8) held San Diego to one run and four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He bounced back from two starts in which he allowed 10 earned runs and 16 hits in 10 innings.

The right-hander improved to 2-5 lifetime against the Padres. His only previous victory against San Diego was a no-hitter on May 12, 2001, while with the Marlins. Burnett walked nine that night.

The Pirates opened a two-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis, which lost 6-3 at Milwaukee.

The Padres have lost 10 of 14 and tied their season high by dropping 17 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Burnett was backed by some nice defense. Left fielder Jose Tabata made a diving catch of Alexi Amarista's sinking liner in the first. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez made a diving stop of Nick Hundley's grounder in the second and Walker, the second baseman, made a diving stop of Jaff Decker's grounder in the third.

Walker homered into the sandy play area beyond the fence in right-center on a 3-1 pitch from Tyson Ross with one out in the first. It was his eighth. Alvarez reached on second baseman Jedd Gyorko's throwing error and Russell Martin followed with an RBI double to right.

Alvarez tripled in the third to bring in Walker, who was hit by a pitch leading off the inning.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run triple in the seventh. His fly ball landed just in front of diving center fielder Alexi Amarista and rolled into the gap. After Alvarez and Russell Martin walked, pinch-hitter Josh Harrison tripled to right-center to clear the bases and cap the five-run inning.

Gyorko homered to left on a 1-2 pitch from Burnett leading off the fourth, his 14th.

The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the third before Burnett struck out Yonder Alonso.

Ross (3-6) allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked two.

NOTES: The series concludes Wednesday afternoon when Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.88 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Ian Kennedy (4-9, 5.12 ERA). .... Pirates closer Jason Grilli, on the disabled list since July 23 with a strained right forearm, is improving, although there is no timetable for his return. ''Jason is moving forward at a very good fashion,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ... OF Starling Marte didn't start for the second straight game because of a bruise on his right hand. He was stepped on during a head-first slide against the Arizona Diamondbacks. ... LHP Wandy Rodriguez will throw live batting practice Thursday before the Pirates begin a four-game series in San Francisco. Rodriguez said he continued to feel discomfort in his left arm after a bullpen session Monday. He went on the disabled list June 11 (retroactive to June 6) with left forearm tightness.

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/21/remember-felix-pie-hes-batting-leadoff-for-the-pirates/

Remember Felix Pie? He’s batting leadoff for the Pirates

Aaron Gleeman

Aug 21, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Here’s a blast from the past: Felix Pie, the former top Cubs prospect turned 28-year-old journeyman, has been called up from Triple-A by the Pirates and is batting leadoff tonight. For a first-place team. In 2013.

Pie last played in the majors for the Orioles in 2011, hitting .220 with zero homers in 85 games, and is a career .249 hitter with a .673 OPS. He also hit just .251 with a .325 on-base percentage in 105 games at Triple-A for the Pirates before the call-up, so the move–and particularly the decision to bat him leadoff tonight–doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Pie first cracked Baseball America‘s top-100 prospects list in 2003. That year Francisco Liriano was 11 spots below Pie on the same prospect list, Andrew McCutchen was a sophomore in high school, and Gerrit Cole was in junior high. So yeah, it’s been a while.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/beltran-craig-homer-lift-cards-214336853--mlb.html

Beltran, Craig homer to lift Cards over Brewers
By RICH ROVITO (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – 2 hours 45 minutes ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jake Westbrook didn't last long enough to earn the victory on Wednesday, but the light-hitting St. Louis pitcher used his bat to spark a six-run, second-inning outburst that led to a Cardinals win over the Milwaukee win.

The Cardinals jumped out to a seven-run lead and then held on for an 8-6 victory.

Westbrook, who entered the game hitting only .167 with two RBIs this season, smacked a bases-loaded double into the left-center field gap that scored two runs, starting an onslaught that propelled the Cardinals a 7-0 lead.

''I'm happy to be able to contribute in that sense, especially with the bases loaded and nobody out and to put a good swing on the ball,'' Westbrook said.

Westbrook didn't fare as well on the mound, however. He fell one out short of earning this eighth win of the year, giving up four earned runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out one during a 75-pitch outing.

In his previous start on Aug. 16, when he threw a career-high 124 pitches, Westbrook gave up six earned runs in 6 2-3 innings.

''I still felt like I pitched a lot better than I have been in terms of throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys,'' Westbrook said. ''I actually made some good pitches that they put some good swings on. Getting two quick outs in the fifth and not being able to finish it off is pretty frustrating for me.

''The bullpen came in and picked me up and finished it off, and the offense was great.''

Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig hit towering home runs in the game-changing second inning. Matt Holliday also homered later in the game and Shane Robinson had three hits for the Cardinals, who remain close behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central race.

''It was a big win,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ''Those are the ones you've got to find a way to win, when you put that kind of offensive production up early.''

After taking a one-run lead in the first inning on a double by Craig, the Cardinals torched Brewers starter Tom Gorzelanny (3-5) in the second.

''You make mistakes and you pay for them, especially against good-hitting teams,'' Gorzelanny said. ''I left balls over the middle, (and made) bad pitch selection.''

Following Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly, Beltran launched a two-run shot that caromed off the center-field scoreboard. With two out, Craig hit a solo homer to right-center.

''We are happy that we were able to win the series,'' Beltran said. ''That is basically what is important for us right now.''

The Brewers cut into the lead in the third on a three-run homer by Aramis Ramirez, and then added two runs in the fifth.

Juan Francisco broke out of an 0-for-15 slump, during which he struck out 10 times, with a run-scoring single. Sean Halton drove in another run with a hit, cutting the deficit to 7-5 and chasing Westbrook.

''(Westbrook) started out pretty good, but for whatever reason they were finding the good part of the bat and finding holes,'' Matheny said.

Kevin Siegrist struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning. Siegrist (2-1) recorded two outs to notch the victory. Four Cardinals relievers held the Brewers to one run over the final 5 1-3 innings to preserve the win.

Holliday's solo home run in the ninth extended the lead to 8-5.

Edward Mujica earned his 33rd save in 35 attempts despite giving up a long solo home run to Logan Schafer with one out in the ninth.

Gorzelanny surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.

''He didn't command the ball that well early and then they also hit some pretty good pitches. We know they are a good hitting club, and when you don't hit your spots, they are going to put a good swing on it,'' Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said.

Khris Davis had a career-best three hits for Milwaukee.

''He keeps showing he can hang in there. He works the count well, which I really like,'' Roenicke said. ''He's an aggressive swinger, but he's not a hacker. He doesn't just go up there and swing at everything. He swings at the pitch he wants to swing at.''

NOTES: Milwaukee reliever Rob Wooten was placed on the paternity list. Wooten didn't make it back to North Carolina in time for the birth of his daughter. ''He walked into the room and (his wife) was holding the baby,'' Roenicke said. ''But everyone is fine.'' ... Pitcher Donovan Hand was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to replace Wooten. Hand was optioned back to Nashville immediately after the game, as was INF/OF Sean Halton. Corresponding moves will be forthcoming, according to a team spokesman. ... OF Norichika Aoki was held out of the lineup due to right knee soreness. ''It has been bugging him for a while. We aren't worried too much,'' Roenicke said. ... The Cardinals concluded a 12-game stretch against NL Central clubs. ... St. Louis returns home to face the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. Milwaukee returns to action Friday at Cincinnati.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/kennedy-alonso-lead-padres-over-012739250--mlb.html

Kennedy, Alonso lead Padres over Pirates 2-1
By BERNIE WILSON (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 52 minutes ago

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Ian Kennedy pitched seven strong innings, combining with two relievers on a four-hitter, and Yonder Alonso drove in two runs as the San Diego Padres beat the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Kennedy, who played at Southern Cal, outpitched Gerrit Cole, who pitched at UCLA before the Pirates made him the first pick overall in the June 2011 draft.

Kennedy (5-9) won for the second time in four starts since being obtained from the NL West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31. He held Pittsburgh to four hits, struck out eight and walked three.

In his previous start, Kennedy allowed three home runs in 4 2-3 innings in a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Friday.

Luke Gregerson pitched the eighth, walking Felix Pie and allowing Andrew McCutcheon's sacrifice fly, and Huston Street worked the ninth for his 24th save in 25 chances.

The Pirates' lead in the NL Central was reduced to one game over the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat Milwaukee 8-6.

Kennedy got into and out of trouble in the first, when the Pirates had two singles and two walks in the first inning, and didn't score. Pie, who was promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier Wednesday, beat out an infield single before being thrown out trying to steal second. With two outs, McCutcheon singled and Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin walked to load the bases. Kennedy got out of the jam by striking out Garrett Jones.

Alonso's sacrifice fly in the third brought in Will Venable, who hit a leadoff double and advanced on Chris Denorfia's groundout. In the fifth, Alonso singled in Denorfia, who singled with two outs and stole second.

Cole (6-6) allowed two runs and 10 hits in six innings, struck out five and walked none.

NOTES: To make room for Pie, the Pirates optioned RHP Ryan Reid to Triple A. To make room on the 40-man roster for Pie, Wandy Ramirez was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. ... The Pirates open a four-game series at San Francisco on Thursday night, when LHP Jeff Locke (9-4, 2.90 ERA) is scheduled to start against RHP Matt Cain (8-8, 4.35). ... The Padres are off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. RHP Edinson Volquez (9-10, 5.72 ERA) is scheduled to start opposite RHP Edwin Jackson (7-13, 4.89).

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Current NL Central Standings for contenders

Pirates 74-52 .587
Cardinals 73-53 .579 1 game back
Reds 72-55 .567 2.5 games back

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/barmes-3-run-homer-leads-045016959--mlb.html

Barmes' 3-run homer leads Pirates to 3-1 victory
The Associated Press – 4 hours ago

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Clint Barmes gave Charlie Morton a chance to stay in the game.

Barmes hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, Morton pitched into the eighth and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Friday night.

Barmes came up with two runners on and Morton in the on-deck circle. The home run gave Pittsburgh the lead and helped prevent manager Clint Hurdle from going to a pinch hitter.

''I was looking to stay inside,'' Barmes said. ''My mindset at that time was to at least get one of them in, to at least tie it. I saw the slider pretty well. It was a pretty good pitch but I was able to drop the barrel on it and stay inside of it.''

Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison each had two hits for the Pirates, who have won four of five and maintained their one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

Morton (5-3) allowed one run on seven hits, two after the Giants scored their first run, over 7 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

''I was pretty efficient and the guys were making good plays,'' Morton said. ''It all added up to me going pretty deep. My whole game plan is to keep the ball on the ground.''

Over his last four starts, Morton has given up 56 groundballs and 17 flyballs.

Madison Bumgarner (11-8) took a shutout into the seventh and wound up allowing three runs on seven hits over eight innings. He walked four and struck out five.

''I thought I made a good pitch,'' Bumgarner said. ''It was pretty much where I wanted it. He just made an adjustment. That's what makes them so good, there is no one way to beat them.''

Roger Kieschnick drove in a run for the Giants, who have lost three straight and five of six overall. Hunter Pence added a pair of hits.

Morton, who has worked through hip and wrist issues, improved to 4-1 over his last eight starts with his longest outing of the season.

''I was very happy for Barmes,'' Morton said. ''We all were, because he's worked so hard. To see him put that swing on the ball, it was a thing of beauty. If he doesn't hit that, I'm out.''

Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.

The Giants broke through in the fourth. Buster Posey hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored when Kieschnick's blooper fell safely in short left field.

The Giants had runners on in each of the first four innings. Following Kieschnick's RBI single, Morton retired 12 of the next 13 before giving up a double to Brandon Crawford with two outs in the eighth.

Tony Watson entered the game and struck out Brandon Belt to end the inning.

Bumgarner retired 14 of 16 before giving up consecutive singles to Gaby Sanchez and Harrison ahead of Barmes' three-run shot in the seventh.

Russell Martin has thrown out a major-league leading 26 runners after getting both Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco.

McCutchen extended his hitting streak against the Giants to 10 games and is hitting .475 (19 for 40) over that stretch.

NOTES: Pirates RHP Jason Grilli is scheduled for a bullpen session on Sunday and could throw a simulated game in his following appearance. ... Pirates OF Starling Marte has not played in five days because of a right hand contusion. Marte leads the league in hitting (.407) against left-handers. ... Pirates IF Jordy Mercer made his first MLB start at 3B. ... LHP Francisco Liriano (14-5, 2.53) gets the start against the Giants, the team who signed him, on Sunday. ... RHP Tim Lincecum (6-13, 4.53) goes for the Giants on Saturday. ... RHP Yusmeiro Petit was recalled from Triple-A Fresno to replace Giants RHP Matt Cain, who went on the DL. The Giants also recalled LHP Mike Kickham and optioned IF Nick Noonan. ... Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt (groin strain) is close to resuming baseball activities and could return to the bullpen Sept. 1. ... Giants OF Angel Pagan (left hamstring surgery) had his rehab transferred to Fresno from the Arizona Rookie League.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/davis-2-hrs-send-brewers-023505303--mlb.html

Davis' 2 HRs send Brewers over Reds 6-4
By JOE KAY (AP Baseball Writer) | The Associated Press – 7 hours ago

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension created a big hole in Milwaukee's lineup. A hard-swinging rookie is trying to fill it in a bit.

Khris Davis hit a pair of two-run homers in consecutive at-bats for the first multihomer game of his career, powering the Brewers to a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

''I don't see any flaws in him right now,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. ''He's really doing a good job.''

The Brewers played their first game since Braun acknowledged in a statement that he used performance-enhancing drugs while recovering from an injury in 2011, when he won the National League MVP award. Players called it a good first step for Braun, who is serving a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball.

Davis rejoined the Brewers the day after Braun was suspended, getting his third stint of the season. He's hit all eight of his homers in the 23 games since, including the two-run shot that put Milwaukee ahead 3-2 in the sixth. His next homer snapped a 3-all tie.

''I'm just having fun with it and trying to be loose out there,'' said Davis, who is batting .386 in Braun's absence.

Scooter Gennett also homered for Milwaukee, which won at Great American Ball Park for only the second time in seven games this season.

The Reds lost for only the fifth time in their last 17 games, a surge that has tightened the NL Central race. They came in a season-high 18 games over .500.

Davis connected in the sixth off Homer Bailey and again in the eighth off Alfredo Simon (5-4), who had a rough inning. He also gave up Gennett's solo homer, which was upheld on review. Gennett also singled and doubled and scored twice.

The Reds' bullpen has lost set-up man Jonathan Broxton to an elbow injury and been forced to pitch a lot of innings lately.

''That was uncharacteristic of Simon,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ''I think you saw some signs of fatigue, and that Davis is the best young player I've seen come into the league this year.''

Rob Wooten (2-0) hit a batter during his one inning in relief. Zack Cozart singled home a run in the eighth off Brandon Kintzler. Jim Henderson gave up a hit in the ninth while getting his 20th save in 23 chances, leaving him with 14 straight scoreless appearances.

Bailey repeatedly went deep in the count to batters and retired the side in order only once during his six innings.

Norichika Aoki singled home a run in the third. Aramis Ramirez doubled ahead of Davis' homer to left-center field in the sixth off Bailey, who is 2-7 career against Milwaukee.

The Reds got a pair of runs in the fourth off Yovani Gallardo with the help of an error. Brandon Phillips singled, Ryan Ludwick walked, and both runners scored when Cozart singled to center and Carlos Gomez bobbled the ball. Gomez hadn't played since last Thursday when he ran into the outfield wall, hurting his right knee.

Phillips led off the sixth inning with his 16th homer, which cleared the wall in center and tied it at 3. Gallardo also went six innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs.

Davis won it with his second homer.

''It's pretty impressive,'' Gallardo said. ''We saw him swing the bat in spring training. He impressed a lot of people in spring training, and he's doing it now. He's able to drive the ball the other way with power.

''It's a big challenge when you have a hitter with power who can also go the other way and still drive it out of the park.''

NOTES: OF Caleb Gindl joined the Brewers for the start of the series, replacing utility player Sean Halton, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday. ... Gennett extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... Aoki reached in all five plate appearances - twice on singles, twice on errors and once on a walk. ... Reds RH reliever Jonathan Broxton had surgery as planned on Friday to repair a tear in his right forearm. The estimated recovery time is six months. ... The Reds will top 2 million in attendance this weekend, the fastest in Great American Ball Park's 11 seasons. ... RHP Bronson Arroyo (12-9) tries to win his third straight decision on Saturday, facing Milwaukee RHP Wily Peralta (8-13). Arroyo hasn't walked a batter in 22 2-3 innings.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/wainwright-sharp-cardinals-beat-braves-030021271--mlb.html

Wainwright sharp, Cardinals beat Braves 3-1
By R.B. FALLSTROM (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 6 hours ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Adam Wainwright bolted out of the dugout before the bottom of the ninth inning. No way was the St. Louis Cardinals' ace coming out of this one.

Wainwright persuaded manager Mike Matheny, a former four-time Gold Glove catcher who handled the right-hander's warmup tosses before the ninth, to finish the game. Then he put the finishing touch on his NL-leading 15th win and fifth complete game for a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

''He's our horse,'' Matheny said. ''Those are the kind of statements your ace loves to make. That was his game.''

Wainwright joked that the manager was out there to ''size me up a little bit,'' and Matheny said the pitches had plenty of heat.

''I like to do that, let them know that I'm not tired and ready to battle for those last three outs,'' said Wainwright who had a key sacrifice fly. ''It's always good to do that and I feel like our team needed it.''

Matt Holliday's 432-foot home run off Kris Medlen (10-12) snapped a sixth-inning tie for St. Louis, which took the first two games of a four-game set against the NL East leaders.

Having already thrown 101 pitches, Wainwright was allowed to bat with the one out and the bases loaded in the seventh inning and hit a long sacrifice fly off Scott Downs for his third RBI of the season to make it 3-1. He then retired the side in order in the eighth and worked around a one-hit single to Chris Johnson in the ninth on a night when the Cardinals didn't have their closer.

Edward Mujica was unavailable for the second straight game with back and neck pain that he believed was caused by working two innings three straight times. He felt much better after visiting a chiropractor, played catch before the game and said he'd be ready Saturday.

''I feel good but I didn't want to force it today,'' Mujica said. ''I'm much better than two days ago.''

Medlen singled to lead off the sixth and scored on Freddie Freeman's second hit of the game and retired 12 in a row at one point. But he allowed Holliday's 17th homer on a liner deep into the left field stands. He's lost his last two times out, including a relief appearance in a 15-inning game, and wasn't pleased about getting taken out after 78 pitches.

''I thought I was cruising pretty good,'' Medlen said. ''I hadn't had to battle yet but I wasn't given the opportunity, so I guess I'm voicing the fact that I didn't appreciate that.''

The Cardinals lost three in a row at Atlanta to start a seven-game losing streak in late July that knocked them out of the Central lead and entered the night a game behind Pittsburgh. Wainwright (15-7) took one of the losses in that series, but the Brunswick, Ga., native is 7-2 against the Braves.

Wainwright allowed a run on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts, passing injured teammate Chris Carpenter for third on the franchise career list and putting him just six behind Dizzy Dean for second, and he has 16 career complete games. He's worked seven or more innings seven straight starts and retired 10 in a row at one point.

Yadier Molina had three hits with a pair of doubles to raise his NL-leading average to .337, five points ahead of the Johnson, who had a pair of singles.

Molina doubled and Jon Jay singled to open the seventh and chase Medlen. Downs got a brief reprieve earlier in the inning when a wild pitch ricocheted back to catcher Brian McCann.

The Braves' Justin Upton was ejected in the sixth for arguing with home plate umpire Paul Nauert after a groundout. He believed he'd been tossed because he'd cursed himself leaving the box and ''heard something I didn't say.''

''To be honest, if I can't get frustrated with myself and say what I want to myself, then it's really sad,'' Upton said. ''I have no clue what he heard and it's just sad.''

NOTES: Braves SS Andrelton Simmons made an outstanding sliding catch on Kolten Wong's foul popup in the second. ... B.J. Upton snapped an 0-for-25 slump with a single in the second. ... Wainwright tied his career best for complete games in a season, also throwing five in 2010. He threw a season-high 128 pitches, second most in his career. ... Molina is batting .419 (13 for 31) with seven doubles in seven games since coming off the 15-day disabled list from a knee injury. The Cardinals are 6-1 in that stretch. ... Freeman is 12 for 27 (.444) during a six-game hitting streak.

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Looks like Yadier Molina is the glue that holds the club together.

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Famous Mortimer wrote: Looks like Yadier Molina is the glue that holds the club together.
That's why I mentioned him in the NL MVP thread. He might get my vote yet.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/miller-dominates-cardinals-beat-braves-023024455--mlb.html

Miller dominates, Cardinals beat Braves 6-2
By R.B. FALLSTROM (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 17 minutes ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rookie Shelby Miller worked seven innings of three-hit ball, Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran each homered and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves for the third straight time, 6-2 Saturday night.

Freddie Freeman homered for the NL East-leading Braves, who totaled five runs while dropping three in a row for the first time since July 3-5. Julio Teheran (10-7) allowed a season-worst five walks and was charged with four runs.

Miller (12-8) worked more than six innings for the first time in 13 starts since June 1. He struck out six without walking a batter while pitching with no more than a one-run cushion against a fellow 22-year-old right-hander. Center fielder Jon Jay made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Brian McCann of at least extra bases in the seventh.

The Cardinals, who began the night a game back in the NL Central, go for a four-game sweep Sunday with Lance Lynn (13-7) opposing Mike Minor (12-5).

St. Louis totaled three runs while getting swept in a three-game series in Atlanta in late July.

Pinch-hitter Shane Robinson and Carpenter opened a three-run seventh with singles to chase Teheran and the Cardinals broke it open against reliever Dave Carpenter with a two-run double by Matt Holliday and an RBI single by Yadier Molina for a 5-1 lead.

The Braves had three of their seven hits in the ninth, including pinch-hitter Gerald Laird's RBI double off Seth Maness before Edward Mujica struck out Elliott Johnson with two on for his 34th save in 36 chances.

The first three hits of the game were home runs. Miller struck out the first two batters on seven pitches and the Braves' first contact came when Freeman hammered a 1-2 pitch for his 16th homer.

Carpenter answered with his second career leadoff homer and 10th overall, also on a 1-2 count, in the bottom of the first. Beltran's team-leading 23rd put the Cardinals ahead 2-1 in the third and he finished with three hits, two RBIs and his second base-running gaffe of the series.

Beltran settled for a single in the fifth after standing at the plate for several seconds and belatedly jogging to first on a liner down the third base line that caromed off the jut in the stands in shallow left. Two days earlier he missed third base and had to double back before scoring.

NOTES: Miller walked nine in 16 1-3 innings his first four starts this month, one of them lasting just two pitches when he took a liner off the elbow. Missouri DE Kony Ealy threw a ceremonial first pitch. ... The Cardinals have hit 21 homers in August after totaling nine in July, although Carpenter's 10th overall was his first since July 10 against Houston. ... The Braves are 8-31 when scoring two or fewer runs.

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/24/pirates-lose-outfielder-starling-marte-to-disabled-list/

Pirates lose outfielder Starling Marte to disabled list

Matthew Pouliot

Aug 24, 2013, 7:05 PM EDT

The Pirates will be without a key piece for at least another 10 days after placing Starling Marte on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a hand contusion.

Andrew Lambo was recalled to replace him on the roster.

Marte was injured last Sunday when he was hit on the left hand by a pitch. He’d been available to pinch-run since, but the Pirates declined to use him in case the DL stint became necessary. Since he hadn’t made an appearance since the injury, he’ll be eligible to rejoin the team on Sept. 3.

The 24-year-old Marte has been the Pirates’ everyday left fielder and leadoff hitter this season. He’s hitting .282/.343/.443, and he’s third in the NL with 35 steals and tied for seventh with 79 runs scored.

Lambo is seeing his second stint in the majors after going 1-for-9 in four games earlier this month. He’s hit 32 homers in the minors this year, 18 of them coming in Triple-A. He’ll share time with Felix Pie in left until Marte returns.

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/08/27/pirates-mets-trade-marlon-byrd-john-buck/2708903/

Pirates acquire Marlon Byrd, John Buck from Mets
Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports 4:08 p.m. EDT August 27, 2013

The Pittsburgh Pirates, on the verge of their first winning season since 1992, are trying to ensure they end their postseason drought as well by acquiring outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck in a trade with the New York Mets.

The Pirates, just one-half game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central Division, will send infielder Dilson Herrera, 19, to the Mets in return, according to a high-ranking Pirates official with direct knowledge of the trade. The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

The Pirates, whose right fielders ranked last in the National League in OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), will be bolstered by Byrd, who's hitting .285 with a career-high 21 homers and 71 RBI. The Pirates also recently lost Starling Marte, their leadoff hitter and left fielder, with an injured right hand.

Buck, who has hit 15 homers and driven in 60 runs this year, will back up Pirates starting catcher Russell Martin.

The Mets, meanwhile, continue re-trenching for the future, a process that took a significant hit on Monday when the team announced ace Matt Harvey has a slightly torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that will likely require Tommy John surgery.

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just 4 wins away from 500 even they can't blow that one

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My allegiance for the postseason:
1. Braves
2. Pittsburgh
3. LA

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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/28/pirates-option-jeff-locke-to-double-a-altoona/

Pirates option Jeff Locke to Double-A Altoona

Drew Silva

Aug 28, 2013, 7:03 PM EDT

Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke was a first-half hero, posting a 2.15 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break. But he has been roughed up in the second half — it got especially bad in August — and may not play a role down the stretch for the Bucs.

According to beat writer Michael Sanserino of the Pittsbrugh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have optioned Locke to Double-A Altoona. He could be brought back shortly after rosters expand on September 1, but he will not take his turn in the rotation Sunday against the first-place Cardinals. A fill-in for that potentially-crucial outing will be announced soon.

Locke made it all the way to 176 innings pitched last year between the minors and majors.

The 25-year-old southpaw  had thrown 148 1/3 innings so far in 2013 for Pittsburgh.

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HBF wrote: My allegiance for the postseason:
1. Braves
2. Pittsburgh
3. LA

Since the Giants are playing like the Bad News Bears this year I am pulling for the Pirates .

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Pittsburgh is trying to land Justin Morneau.



from cbssports.com:

The Pirates upgraded their offense with their trade for outfielder Marlon Byrd on Tuesday, and they have their eye on Twins star first baseman Justin Morneau now.

Morneau, the former AL MVP, would appear to be their next target following the trade with the Mets that netted them Byrd and catcher John Buck, as the Pirates continue to address offensive needs as they battle the Cardinals atop the NL Central Division.

Pirates GM Neal Huntington has likely locked down NL Executive of the Year honors after winter trades and signings secured Francisco Liriano, Russell Martin and Mark Melancon. Now he is looking to secure the Pirates' first playoff spot since 1992 (the first winning record since that year is a fait acccompli at this point). Huntington said on MLB Network that he liked the Byrd trade because it helped "lengthen" their lineup.

With right field an issue most of the year and Starling Marte out with a hand issue at the moment, Pittsburgh could use one more hitter. They could try to utilize Garrett Jones in the outfield if they were to acquire Morneau.

Morneau has cleared waivers, and word has been that the Twins are willing to pay some of the close to $3 million left on Morneau's $14 million salary, depending on the prospect worth returned in a trade. The Pirates showed they are willing to dig into their farm system when they sent middle-infield prospect Dilson Herrera and a player to be named to the Mets, but so far they've deemed the Twins' requests as high.

While Minnesota has attachment to Morneau, the 2006 MVP and half of the vaunted pairing with Joe Mauer, the Twins have signaled a clear willingness to trade him. The Orioles showed some interest last month, while the Indians and A's are among other teams that make some sense. The Yankees, pleased with cost-efficient pickup Lyle Overbay, are said by a source not to be in on Morneau at the moment.

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I have been out of the loop all week. Nice pick up for the Bucs. Since the Phils are finished this year, I have to root for the Bucs to make the playoffs and hopefully go far. Typically, when teams reach the playoffs for the first time in ages, it is a short stay. Hopefully, that is not the case this time. Picking up Byrd was a smart move.

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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/jones-liriano-pirates-beat-cards-014855093--mlb.html

Jones, Liriano, Pirates beat Cards for Central tie
By WILL GRAVES (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 8 hours ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle gave Garrett Jones a few days off this week, freeing the first baseman to explore ways to work out of a miserable funk that threatened to banish him to the bench indefinitely.

A lot of time in the batting cage and a couple of helpful hints from a new teammate provided Jones with the confidence boost he desperately needed.

Jones hit his 100th career home run and drove in four runs as the Pirates beat St. Louis 5-0 on Friday night to move into a tie with the Cardinals for the lead in the NL Central.

''Big game, big series,'' Jones said. ''I made some adjustments and took it into the game and I felt good. I felt aggressive and strong and it was nice to be able to contribute to the win.''

A pep talk from outfielder Marlon Byrd helped. The veteran, acquired by the Pirates in a trade with the New York Mets on Tuesday, pulled Jones aside and delivered some advice culled from 12 years of bouncing through seven big league cities.

''He came up to me and said you're a guy who can hit 30-40 home runs,'' Jones said. ''He started talking to me about hitting and the few things he mentioned to me just made a lot of sense.''

Hard to argue with the results. Jones finished with three hits while matching his entire RBI total for the month in one night.

Russell Martin added his 12th homer of the season for Pittsburgh. Jose Tabata and Neil Walker got two hits as the Pirates moved within four victories of their first winning season in 21 years.

Francisco Liriano (15-6) allowed just two hits over eight innings, walking two and striking out six to reach the 15-win plateau for the first time in his eight-year career. The left-hander struggled in his previous start last weekend in San Francisco but bounced back with one of his most dominant performances of the season.

Liriano credited his resilience on a newfound maturity that allows him to move on quickly following a rough night.

''Whatever is done is done, nothing you can do about it, just focus on the next start,'' Liriano said.

Having an early lead to work with certainly helped. Jones came in hitting just .119 in August but broke out against St. Louis starter Shelby Miller (12-9).

Jones hit a two-run double in the first inning to give Pittsburgh the lead, added a moon shot to the seats in right field off Miller in the fourth and followed it up with an RBI single in the fifth.

''Garrett put in a lot of work and it paid off big time for us,'' Hurdle said.

The Cardinals came in surging after they erased a four-game deficit earlier this month. St. Louis arrived at PNC Park with a one-game lead and a chance to create some breathing room over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati heading into September.

Instead, things tightened up after Miller again struggled to get outs against the Pirates.

The rookie right-hander is in the midst of a breakout season but fell to 0-4 versus Pittsburgh, though his hitters haven't done him any favors. The Cardinals have produced just one run in Miller's four starts against the Pirates.

Miller lasted just 4 1-3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out three. He struggled with his command, twice walking Liriano - who came in hitting just .075 - on four pitches.

''I made some mistakes with some pitches and they put good swings on them,'' Miller said. ''At the end of the day, they were better than us. I was just battling all night. It wasn't a good night.''

It certainly was for Liriano, who is in the midst of a mid-career revival with the Pirates.

The 2006 All-Star pitched a complete game in a 5-1 win at St. Louis two weeks ago and was even sharper in front of a packed PNC Park that is still getting used to being in the thick of a pennant race.

The Cardinals managed only one runner in the last six innings, and no one got past second base in the entire game.

''They're waiting for him to make a mistake out of over the plate but he's not making many mistakes then you don't have too many options,'' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ''We hit some balls hard but not enough of them in a row then we gave him the lead and that made it even tougher for us.''

NOTES: Pittsburgh All-Star closer Jason Grilli will pitch one inning for Double-A Altoona on Saturday as he continues his rehab from a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm. Grilli has been on the 15-day disabled list since injuring the arm against Washington on July 22 ... The Cardinals bolstered their bullpen on Friday when they acquired reliever John Axford from Milwaukee. ''There's a lot of experience there, a lot of upside,'' Matheny said. ''It's hard to forget that two years ago this guy was one of the top relievers in the game.'' ... Lance Lynn (13-8, 4.02 ERA) starts for the Cardinals on Saturday against A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.18).

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CanadianHorseman wrote:
Pittsburgh is trying to land Justin Morneau.


Mission accomplished.


from tsn.ca:

The Minnesota Twins have traded Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates, sending the veteran first baseman to a playoff-contending team for the final month of the season.

The deal was done on Saturday before the deadline. The Twins obtained outfielder Alex Presley and either a player to be named or cash.

Morneau is in the final year of his contract, making $14 million. He has been with the Twins for 11 seasons, winning the American League MVP award in 2006 and becoming one of the best hitters in the game until a concussion knocked him out of action in 2010. His production hasn't been the same since.

Morneau batted .259 with 32 doubles, 17 home runs and 74 RBIs for the Twins this year in 495 at-bats.

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Great to see that the Bucs are serious. Another solid pick up.

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Pittsburgh behind AJ Fucking Burnett just beat The Cardinals to reclaim first place.

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clawmaster wrote:
Pittsburgh behind AJ Fucking Burnett just beat The Cardinals to reclaim first place.

The Cardinals couldn't have picked a worse time to forget how to score runs.

Still, I'm pretty pleased for Pittsburgh that they've managed to do this, and if the Cardinals don't make it, I'll be rooting for them.

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I can hardly believe this is the same team that has been kicking me square in the balls for 20 years. This time last season fans wanted the whole front office run out of town for failing to make any deals at the deadline, and now they've seemingly found the same magic potion Ray Shero uses to get any player they set their minds to.

Adding two more guys with double digit HR totals to a roster where there's already 5-6 guys at that mark? Finally getting an every day 1B with power? My head's spinning trying to make sense of it all. That doesn't even cover having a ridiculous outfield with all 3 starters making circus catches on a regular basis.

Oh yeah, Jason Grilli is close to returning soon to a bullpen that didn't even skip a beat when the NL saves leader went down.

I'm going to the finale against the Cards, and I can't wait. The atmosphere is amazing at PNC, and getting to see meaningful baseball in September is just fantastic.

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sek69 wrote: I'm going to the finale against the Cards
Sorry :(

Still, if it's any consolation, there's no way Joe Kelly keeps pitching this well.

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Reds hammered Adam Wainwright and lead the Cards 7-2 in the 8th inning.

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One more win and the 20-year curse is over.

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There's actually been some debate if it ends at 81 or 82. 81 wins means no losing season, but it technically won't be a winning one until the next win.

All I know is I'm DVR'ing the game tonight for posterity just in case.

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81 or 82 they will have both this week

 

will celbrate first winning season since HW Bush was president

Last edited on Tue Sep 3rd, 2013 06:08 pm by Count Grog

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Count Grog wrote: 81 or 82 they will have both this week

 

will celbrate first winning season since HW Bush was president



For you, Grog:







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thanks they are missing a golden marketing opportunity not having Lord Zoltan at the game

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The 1992 Curse is over....The Pirates beat the Brewers 4-3.  Win #81.

Last edited on Wed Sep 4th, 2013 04:19 am by Papa Voo

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Was there a decent celebration, or will that be on win 82?

sek69



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The team is downplaying the streak as much as possible, Hurdle's said since day one the goal was winning the division not ending any streaks. Pretty sure the only player who talks about it as something he wants to accomplish is Neil Walker who was born and raised here.

Famous Mortimer



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sek69 wrote: The team is downplaying the streak as much as possible, Hurdle's said since day one the goal was winning the division not ending any streaks. Pretty sure the only player who talks about it as something he wants to accomplish is Neil Walker who was born and raised here
 

Well, I don't get a good vibe from the Cardinals - too many second-string starters and too few guys batting even up to their own career average. So I reckon the Pirates have got this.

Let's wait a few years and see if the Cubs can make it to a WS, if we're talking about streaks :)

lobo316
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MILWAUKEE -- The Pittsburgh Pirates activated Jason Grilli from the disabled list Tuesday, and the All-Star knows he has some work to do before reclaiming his spot as the team's closer.

Grilli says he'll be ready when the time comes.

"I think I showed that my arm is where it needs to be and there's not really much to prove for myself and I'm being honest with them," Grilli said before the Pirates faced the Milwaukee Brewers in the second game of a three-game series.

Pittsburgh won 5-2 on Monday night at Miller Park to move one game ahead of St. Louis atop the NL Central.

"This is not a selfish move on my part," continued Grilli. "I want to just come and pitch and when they give me the ball, I'm going to pitch and face some big-league hitters to be the guy that I was, that everybody knows me as.

"I don't expect that I'll be closing games right away. I'm OK with that."

The 36-year-old right-hander had been on the DL since straining the right flexor tendon in his pitching arm during a 6-5 victory over Washington on July 22. He had been on a rehab assignment in the minors before being recalled Tuesday.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Grilli will make at least a couple of relief appearances in non-save situations before resuming his role as the closer.

"Our eyes will tell us what to do with him after that, I believe ... his eyes and our eyes," Hurdle said. "We eventually plan on transitioning him back to the closer role."

Grilli made the All-Star team for the first time this season and was second in the NL with 30 saves at the time of his injury.

Right-hander Mark Melancon, who stepped in as the closer, earned his 10th save after pitching a scoreless ninth Monday. He has allowed one earned run in his last 15 games.



clawmaster
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Current standings for contenders.

Count Grog
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we missed it yesterday but with last nights win at worst 2 games over 500,  I think they will still end up second wild card team despite looking good against Texas they looked just as bad against St Louis who counts

clawmaster
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Bump. A few heart breakers over the past week for the Pirates.

sek69



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Pirates clinch a playoff spot for the first time in 20 years! The childhood dream is fulfilled!

Count Grog
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The Bucs are in first time since mullets were in style

Count Grog
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Bucs win the wildcard game lets Go Bucs

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Congrats to Pirates! Go Bucs!

dogfacedgremlin34
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Disappointed the Pirates got eliminated last night, as I was rooting hard for them to make it to the WS. In the end though, I think it was a great year and Bucs fans have nothing to be sad about.

It's funny, because I never thought much of Clint Hurdle as a manager, but this season may have me change my tune. Here's hoping they can continue this stretch of success.



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