Pirates Notebook: McDonald Continues to be Pirates Ace

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — James McDonald continues to be the Pittsburgh Pirates ace this 2012 season. Facing a hot Cincinnati Reds lineup, McDonald was not fazed on Monday at PNC Park. Coming into Pittsburgh having won eight of their last nine games and sitting at the top the National League Central, McDonald cruised through their lineup on his way to eight scoreless innings — the first time in his Major League career. “He...

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Pirates Notebook: Bats Break Out for Season-High 10 Runs

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Pirates offense has struggled to score runs this season. But on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park, the bats came out swinging against the Chicago Cubs. The club pounded out 10 runs — the most they’ve scored in a game during the 2012 season. It passed their previous mark of nine on April 30 against the Braves in Atlanta. Most of the damage came in the sixth frame when the Bucs plated six...

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Pirates Notebook: Hague’s First Major League Walkoff Comes In Odd Fashion

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Growing up playing baseball, kids always dream of their first walk off hit. For rookie Matt Hague, his was not quite the way he envisioned  it. “No. But I’ll take it,” Hague said with a smile. In the bottom of the ninth inning in a 2-2 tie, the first baseman came to the plate to face the Chicago Cubs reliever Rafael Dolis with the bases loaded and two outs. Having just being recalled from Triple-A...

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Pirates Notebook: Pitching Staff Continues to Shine

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Pittsburgh’s pitching staff continues to shine this season. Entering game action, the staff ERA of 3.33 ranked No. 3 in the Majors, second in the National League trailing only the Washington Nationals (2.90). The bullpen’s 2.47 ERA is the best in the N.L. “Very impressive pitching all night tonight on the mound,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. Right-hander A.J. Burnett made his...

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Pirates Notebook: Options to Spark Offense Could Be Internal

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Pirates entered game action on Wednesday just three games under .500 and four games back in the National League Central Division. What’s kept the club afloat this season has been off the mound. The pitching continues to be solid from the starters to the relievers. However, the bats have been a different story. The Pirates .218 team average is ranked last in the National League....

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Pirates Notebook: James McDonald Having a Breakout Season

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Right-hander James McDonald continues to impress this 2012 season, posting numbers worthy of arguably a nomination for a breakout player in the National League. Over McDonald’s last six starts, he’s whiffed 52 batters over 41.2 innings since his eight strikeout performance on April 25. During that span, McDonald leads the Majors in the strikeout department, which included a career-high 11 against...

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