Pirates’ Bats Jump on Samardzija to Support Burnett in 6-2 Victory

Pirates starter A.J. Burnett took a shutout bid into the 9th inning and mound opponent Jeff Samardzija allowed a season-high eight hits to a lineup he usually dominates en route to a 6-2 Pittsburgh win on Saturday at Wrigley Field. Burnett became the first Pirates starter to pitch into the 8th inning this season, tossing 8⅓ innings and allowing only four hits. The veteran righty took a no-hit bid into the 5th inning and a shutout bid...

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Pirates Notebook: Hurdle Not Too Worried About Reliever Innings

The performance of the bullpen has played a role in the the Pirates’ winning ways, especially given the many close games they have won. Pittsburgh’s relievers are ranked 2nd in the National League in ERA, 3rd in strikeout percentage and 4th in FIP. That success has not come without a cost, though, or at least a mortgage. Mark Melancon (0.96 ERA, 1.74 FIP) has pitched the 10th-most innings in the NL, while Justin Wilson...

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Pirates Beat Brewers 5-2 with Four Homers, Another Locke-Down

Forgive me for the obvious pun, I couldn’t resist. The Pirates took a bite out of Mike Fiers early and often by hitting three home runs, more than enough for Jeff Locke and the bullpen to finish off a 5-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Powering up against Fiers (and later against a reliever) supplied the Bucs’ 9th win in the last 56 games in Milwaukee. Pedro Alvarez and Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez both hit...

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Francisco Liriano Digs Up A Gem In 1-0 Pirates Win

Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Slider. Slider. Slider. Changeup. Changeup. Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Fastball! Slider. Those were the pitches Francisco Liriano threw to get Cubs batters to swing and miss en route to nine strikeouts in the Pirates’ 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Liriano gave up only one hit in his seven innings of work. Those 19 whiffs demonstrated...

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Prospect Notebook: Jerry Sands Could Be a Good In-Season Addition For the Pirates

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Jerry Sands was struggling all around, and how there were no silver linings to his game. He wasn’t hitting right-handers or left-handers. He wasn’t hitting for power. It wasn’t a home/road split, or a situation where you could point to the most recent games with hope that he was turning things around. Now? There are a few silver linings. In fact, there are outright positive signs. On...

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