Pirates Notebook: Bucs Snap Skid; Is McDonald’s Spot Safe?

The Pittsburgh Pirates took the field in Chicago on Saturday afternoon just one game over .500 and three games back of St. Louis for the second spot in the Wild Card race. Looking to snap their seven-game skid and turn things around, the club needed the offense to spark and the pitching to hold the club in the game, while making solid defensive plays. The Pirates were able to put it all together and end their losing streak by beating...

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Pirates Notebook: McDonald Showing Progress; Rotation Set for Cincinnati

It’s been a frustrating second half of the season for James McDonald. But there have been signs that the right-hander is bouncing back to his first half form. McDonald had to battle on Saturday at PNC Park against Chicago. The only clean inning he threw was the first. But he was able to stay away from the big innings, which had caused him trouble in some recent outings prior. “That was big,” McDonald said. “For...

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Pirates Notebook: Worst Game Of the Season; Walker Takes First Swings in Cage

After the Pirates lost 12-2 to Chicago on Friday, Manager Clint Hurdle summed up the game by being honest. It stunk. “Our worst game of the season,” Hurdle said. “We stunk tonight. There’s always a sense of pride that you take out on the field, to play your best every night that you go out there. Sometimes your best stinks. That’s where we were tonight.” The Pirates have played well defensively for the most...

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Pirates Notebook: Pirates Match 2011 Win Total; Walker Getting Close to Return

With the series win over Houston on Wednesday, Pittsburgh notched their 72nd win of the season. It tied their win total from all of last year. The Pirates finished the 2011 campaign with a 72-90 record. “It’s part of what you expect,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “You do, you expect to get better. It’s not always the way it works. I use the term with my players, I’m going to be easy to please, but hard to satisfy. It’s...

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Injury Updates: Starling Marte, Chad Qualls, Neil Walker, Travis Snider

Marte, Qualls, Walker Close to Getting Back With Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle can sigh in relief with several players getting close to coming back to playing with the Pirates. Marte (oblique) started his rehab assignment with State College tonight, and will have it transferred to Triple-A on Wednesday. Neil Walker (low back) continues to ramp his workouts, and Chad Qualls (big toe) struck out the side in his first rehab appearance...

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