Throw-lanco: Pirate shows off cannon

Right fielder nabs Reyes at home to preserve 8th-inning tie

Throw-lanco: Pirate shows off cannon

PITTSBURGH -- Right fielder Gregory Polanco saved the bacon for the Pirates in the eighth inning of their 5-3 victory over Colorado on Friday night.

With the game tied, 3-3, Polanco caught a one-out line drive from Nolan Arenado and gunned down Jose Reyes at home plate, completing an inning-ending double play.

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George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harrison's clutch hit, Polanco's arm lift Bucs

Harrison's clutch hit, Polanco's arm lift Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Not long ago, Josh Harrison rejoined the Pirates' lineup. On Friday night, he rejoined the team's fun by delivering a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Rockies at PNC Park in front of 32,607.

After missing 38 games with a right thumb injury and going 2-for-13 in his first six games back, Harrison stepped up as a pinch-hitter with two on and two outs to single off Scott Oberg (3-3), breaking a 3-3 tie as the National League Wild Card-leading Pirates won for the ninth time in 11 games and 13th in the last 16. Gregory Polanco, who earlier made two key throws, singled in another eighth-inning run to complete a 3-for-5, two-run night.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rolling with Pirates, Happ sizes up Rockies

Rolling with Pirates, Happ sizes up Rockies

Cloaked in black and gold and represented by a swashbuckler and a skull-and-crossbones, left-hander J.A. Happ has found his aggression since joining the postseason-contending Pirates.

Through his first 22 appearances, 21 with the Mariners and a maiden voyage with the Pirates, Happ was 4-7 with a 4.78 ERA. But in his last three starts, Happ has given up one run in 17 1/3 innings and the Pirates have won all three. Happ wants to carry this form into Saturday night's start against the Rockies at PNC Park.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What a catch: Cervelli, Stewart solidify Bucs

Backstop tandem providing total package in Pittsburgh

What a catch: Cervelli, Stewart solidify Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- You could make a case that the Pirates, with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart, have the best catching tandem in baseball.

Cervelli was acquired from the Yankees in the offseason to replace four-time All-Star Russell Martin, who signed as a free agent with Toronto. Cervelli hasn't disappointed, entering Friday batting a career-high .306, second only to Buster Posey among regular Major League catchers. Cervelli and Stewart were hitting a combined .303, a Major League best for catchers.

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George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alvarez's solo blast reaches rare territory

Pirates first baseman's 443-foot homer shows off his power

Alvarez's solo blast reaches rare territory

MIAMI -- Marlins Park can be a frustrating place for even the most powerful hitters. The lime-green wall in center field is 418 feet away, but it often feels like a mile. All week, the Pirates watched balls get swallowed up by the vast outfield expanse.

But Pedro Alvarez made the park's sizable dimensions look small in the fourth inning Thursday night, blasting a 443-foot solo shot off Marlins lefty Justin Nicolino that wound up being the deciding run in the Pirates' 2-1 win.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glasnow hurls six one-hit frames, Garcia fans 10 in Minors

Pirates No. 1 prospect throws six one-hit innings, No. 20 strikes out a career-high 10

Glasnow hurls six one-hit frames, Garcia fans 10 in Minors

It was a good night to be a Pirates pitching prospect.

No. 1 prospect (No. 7 overall) Tyler Glasnow's string of dominance continued Thursday with six scoreless innings in a no-decision for Triple-A Indianapolis.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs keep it loose with pregame dugout antics

Long-standing dance ritual starting to garner attention

Bucs keep it loose with pregame dugout antics

MIAMI -- Take a look into the Pirates' dugout moments before first pitch every night. You never know what you might see.

It could be Andrew McCutchen pretending to row a boat, with his bat as the oar. You might find Josh Harrison doing the limbo under his bat. Either way, odds are you will find McCutchen and Harrison dancing in the middle of a crowd of teammates, some of them stomping their feet while others bang on empty gum buckets.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cole's gem helps Bucs keep pace in division

Cole's gem helps Bucs keep pace in division

MIAMI -- Pirates ace Gerrit Cole made an overdue return to the win column Thursday night at Marlins Park, throwing 7 1/3 innings and picking up his 15th victory as the Bucs beat the Marlins, 2-1.

It was Cole's first win, and his longest start, since July 26. He had been 0-3 with a 3.60 ERA in August, albeit with a pair of quality starts, before holding the Marlins to one run on five hits, while striking out four.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cervelli ejected after home-plate argument

Pirates catcher exits early after not heeding umpire's warning

Cervelli ejected after home-plate argument

MIAMI -- Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli caught a 94-mph fastball from Gerrit Cole, held it in his gloved left hand and waited. The strike call never came, but within a few moments, Cervelli had been ejected.

Home-plate umpire Alan Porter tossed Cervelli during the third inning of the Pirates' 2-1 win over the Marlins on Thursday night at Marlins Park. According to Cervelli, Porter said something in "not the right tone," and threatened to eject Cervelli if he turned around.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCutchen elevating his game to new heights

All-Star center fielder homers, drives in four during Bucs' win over Marlins

McCutchen elevating his game to new heights

MIAMI -- It may be hard to believe, but Andrew McCutchen -- with a little help from his friends -- has found a way to take his offensive game to another level this season.

McCutchen's 20th home run of the season, a three-run laser into the left-field seats at Marlins Park, capped a six-run second inning in the Pirates' 7-2 win on Wednesday night. The 414-foot blast brought his RBI total to four on the night and 85 for the season.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs ride Locke, 6-run 2nd to sail by Marlins

Bucs ride Locke, 6-run 2nd to sail by Marlins

MIAMI -- It had been a frustrating month for Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke. Even as Pittsburgh kept winning, Locke often struggled. He hadn't finished the sixth inning in six starts. His ERA during that stretch started with a six. But he put that behind him Wednesday night at Marlins Park, firing seven strong innings as the Pirates cruised to a 7-2 win over the Marlins.

Andrew McCutchen crushed a three-run homer as part of a six-run second inning, giving Locke plenty of room to work with. And Locke took full advantage of the early run support, getting better as the night wore on in his best start of the second half.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs looking for flexibility with September callups

Bucs looking for flexibility with September callups

MIAMI -- With Sept. 1 less than a week away, the Pirates are mulling over their September callup options. At the same time, they must consider the ramifications every move might have on their potential postseason roster.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle spoke with general manager Neal Huntington about their upcoming roster moves on Monday, and he was scheduled to do so again on Wednesday. The quick takeaway: Don't expect anything too surprising.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoulder surgery to sideline Bucs' prospect 10-12 months

Club's top pick in 2014 to miss most of '16 with torn labrum

Shoulder surgery to sideline Bucs' prospect 10-12 months

MIAMI -- Shortstop Cole Tucker, the Pirates' top 2014 Draft pick, could be sidelined up to a year after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Tucker, 19, is expected to miss approximately 10-12 months. That recovery timeline would keep him off the field for the rest of this season and potentially most of next year's Minor League season as well.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Burnett throws sim game, calls it 'positive day'

Burnett throws sim game, calls it 'positive day'

MIAMI -- Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett took another step toward a possible September return Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park, throwing a two-inning simulated game.

Working his way back from a flexor strain in his right elbow, Burnett threw 35 fastballs and tossed another 20 pitches in the bullpen.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cutch compares favorably to greats at 1K mark

After reaching 1,000 games Monday, All-Star's career stats stack up well next to Clemente, Bonds

Cutch compares favorably to greats at 1K mark

Andrew McCutchen clearly is one of the greatest in today's MLB. When compared to two historic Pittsburgh Pirates, he also is already one of the franchise's all-time greats.

McCutchen played in his 1,000th career game on Monday night -- and marked it in style with a two-run double that started the Bucs toward a 5-2 victory over the Marlins in Miami -- a nice round number that offers a convenient opportunity to compare.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stifled after first, Pirates see win streak end

Stifled after first, Pirates see win streak end

MIAMI -- Lefty Brad Hand threw a career-high eight-plus innings, silencing the Pirates' lineup and leading the Marlins to a 5-2 win over the National League Wild Card leaders Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Hand scattered nine hits but held Pittsburgh to two runs, striking out five without walking a batter. He left the game in the ninth after serving up two singles to start the inning, which set up the Pirates to load the bases and make it a three-run game. But Marlins closer A.J. Ramos got Sean Rodriguez to fly out to center field, stranding a pair of runners to record his 22nd save.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs can't match outfielders in holding runners

Pirates get assists from Marte, Polanco, but allow Marlins to steal five bases

Bucs can't match outfielders in holding runners

MIAMI -- The Pirates had an unusual time trying to contain the Marlins' aggressive running game Tuesday night.

Pittsburgh's corner outfielders each gunned down a runner at third base, making Miami pay for its attempts to take an extra base. But the Bucs' battery struggled to slow down Marlins speedster Dee Gordon, who had four of Miami's five steals in a 5-2 loss at Marlins Park.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Polanco continues hot streak in win over Marlins

Outfielder tallies four hits for the first time in 2015

Polanco continues hot streak in win over Marlins

MIAMI -- The last time the Pirates came to Marlins Park, Gregory Polanco announced his presence with authority. He swatted five hits in one night, ripped a game-winning homer and tortured Miami's pitching all series. It was perhaps the best Polanco has looked at the big league level -- until now, that is.

Polanco started hitting in early July and hasn't stopped since. He kept raking Monday night in his return to Marlins Park, piling up four hard hits in the Pirates' 5-2 win.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates down Marlins behind strong Happ

Pirates down Marlins behind strong Happ

MIAMI -- Led by another strong start from left-hander J.A. Happ and Gregory Polanco's four-hit night, the Pirates continued their dominance against the National League East with a 5-2 win over the Marlins on Monday.

Happ fired six scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out six. Since his disappointing Pirates debut on Aug. 4, Happ has pitched 17 1/3 innings over three starts and permitted only one run.

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Adam Berry and Joe Frisaro are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Caminero diversifies pitching arsenal

Caminero diversifies pitching arsenal

MIAMI -- Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero is known for his blazing fastball, a pitch that often clocks in faster than 100 mph. But he has quietly, and quite successfully, diversified his arsenal recently.

Caminero has essentially improved upon his signature pitch, a four-seam fastball, by making frequent use of a sinker. He began throwing the pitch on Aug. 1, according to PITCHf/x data, and it's been his go-to offering ever since.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs' bullpen going above and beyond

Bucs' bullpen going above and beyond

PITTSBURGH -- In discussing the freaky good relievers in his otherworldly bullpen, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle dropped an inadvertent malaprop the other day.

"I feel confident in them. They're convicted," Hurdle said.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs overcome 3 errors for series win vs. Giants

Bucs overcome 3 errors for series win vs. Giants

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has an expression for the "gamer" attitude his players use to overcome their own rash of mistakes to post the Majors' third best record: "So what? Now what?"

The Pirates played their ultimate "So what? Now what?" game Sunday night, downing the Giants, 5-2, despite a series of physical and mental errors in the middle innings. After two fielding errors by first baseman Pedro Alvarez and a throwing error by second baseman Neil Walker gifted the Giants with two runs to trim the Bucs' lead to 3-2, homers by Andrew McCutchen in the sixth and Alvarez in the seventh restored order.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs activate Mercer, place Ishikawa on DL

Bucs activate Mercer, place Ishikawa on DL

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates were already hot. On Sunday, they became whole -- shortstop Jordy Mercer was activated after an 11-day, seven-game rehabilitation assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Mercer rejoined the cast two days after Josh Harrison returned from his own rehab assignment in the same place. Admirably, the Bucs went 20-10 while both erstwhile regulars were absent.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seeking 'another level,' Kang hits two homers

Seeking 'another level,' Kang hits two homers

PITTSBURGH -- Early on this season, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle presented Jung Ho Kang with a number of lineup cards, each to commemorate a Major League "first" -- first at-bat, home run, homer at home, hit-by-pitch and so on.

Kang would seem entitled to Hurdle's sheet from the Pirates' 3-2 win over the Giants at PNC Park, a memento of his first multi-homer game in the big leagues. But that might not be necessary anymore.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs' Marte hits walk-off homer to top Giants

Bucs' Marte hits walk-off homer to top Giants

PITTSBURGH -- Seven innings after robbing Brandon Crawford of a home run, Starling Marte robbed Crawford's entire team of a possible win. Marte's homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth Saturday gave the Pirates a 3-2 walk-off win over the stunned Giants at PNC Park.

Marte drilled the first pitch to him by George Kontos for his 15th homer of the season to keep the game's theme to its conclusion. The Bucs' first two runs had been the product of Jung Ho Kang's first career two-homer game.

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John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte's leap steals home run from Giants

Pirates outfielder denies Crawford, brother of pitcher Cole's fiancee

Marte's leap steals home run from Giants

PITTSBURGH -- Starling Marte may have come up with an early wedding present for Gerrit Cole's upcoming marriage to Amy Crawford: robbing the Pirates pitcher's future brother-in-law of a home run.

The Giants' Brandon Crawford hit a towering fly ball to left field in the second inning of Saturday's game at PNC Park -- towering enough for Marte to drift back and make a leaping catch at the 383-foot sign. Seven innings later, Marte went over that wall considerably to the right of that sign for the walk-off homer that gave the Bucs a 3-2 win over the Giants.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.