Pirates Beat Braves 4-2 to Complete Successful Homestand

The Pittsburgh Pirates getting out to a 10-8 record to start 2013 would be far less impressive if half of those games were against, say, the Marlins, Padres and Astros. Strength of schedule plays a larger part in early-season stats and records than many of us want to recognize. Yes, the Texas Rangers are 12-6, but they have played 12 games against the Mariners, Cubs and Astros. So the Pirates capping off a 7-2 homestand is made even...

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Pirates Notebook: First-Pitch Strikes Key for Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez returned from injury Friday for the Pittsburgh Pirates and promptly mowed down the hottest team in baseball. Rodriguez was sharp from the┬ábeginning and allowed just one hit in seven innings and combined with Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzarro to face the minimum of 27 batters in the Pirates’ 6-0 win against the Braves at PNC Park. Of the 21 batters Rodriguez faced, he either threw a first-pitch strike or got the...

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Pirates Notebook: Top of the Lineup Heating Up

Wins are for the most part an antiquated statistic in baseball, but sometimes a win can carry a bit of significance. A.J. Burnett got his first one of the 2013 campaign Wednesday night at PNC Park, but that was not what people will remember about the game. Burnett not only got strikeout No. 2,000 for his career, he flirted with perfection and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a two-out double to Carlos...

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A.J. Burnett: Anatomy of a One-Hitter

So many events have to go right for a no-hitter to happen. We sometimes lose sight of that, living in this Golden Age of 23 no-hitters in the last six years. Even with no-hitters becoming almost as common an occurrence as Clint Barmes home runs, they still require a potent combination of talent and good fortune to come true (you know, like a Clint Barmes home run). When looking at A.J. Burnett taking a perfect game into the 6th inning...

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Pirates Pregame: Tabata, Not Snider, Starting in Right Field

If you follow enough of the Pirates media on Twitter, then you noticed buzz surrounding the announcement of today’s lineup when it was tweeted by the official Pirates account early this afternoon. Jose Tabata, not Travis Snider, is starting in right field tonight for Pittsburgh after Snider played well last weekend against Cincinnati and had two hits last night against St. Louis. The decision to start Tabata ahead of Snider...

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