Jaso hits for first cycle in PNC Park history

Pirates first baseman becomes second player to notch cycle, catch perfect game

Jaso hits for first cycle in PNC Park history

PITTSBURGH -- John Jaso slid into third base, popped up quickly, took two slow steps back toward the bag and looked over at third-base coach Rick Sofield. That's when it hit him: He saved the hardest part for last, but he just hit for the cycle.

"I was just hoping they were going to give it to me," Jaso said.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jaso's cycle leads Pirates past Arrieta, Cubs

Jaso's cycle leads Pirates past Arrieta, Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- Nearly a year ago, Jake Arrieta crushed the Pirates' postseason hopes before they could truly begin, tossing a shutout in the Cubs' National League Wild Card Game victory. On Wednesday night, John Jaso led Pittsburgh's recent revenge tour against the Cubs right-hander, hitting for the first cycle in PNC Park history as the Bucs scored seven runs off Arrieta in an 8-4 win.

"It's just a great memory to have," Jaso said.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates to play Blue Jays in Montreal next spring

Pirates to play Blue Jays in Montreal next spring

PITTSBURGH -- For the fourth straight year, there will be Major League Baseball in Montreal. This time, the Pirates are getting in on the action.

The Pirates will wrap up Spring Training next year with a pair of exhibition games against the Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium north of the border. The clubs are scheduled to play Friday, March 31, at 7:05 p.m. ET and Saturday, April 1, at 1:05 p.m.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Has anyone with hair as wonderful as Jaso's ever hit for the cycle?

|
Has anyone with hair as wonderful as Jaso's ever hit for the cycle?

John Jaso hit for the cycle during Wednesday's Cubs-Pirates game. It was the third cycle of the season, the first by a Pirates player since Daryle Ward in 2004 and the first such occurence in PNC Park history. He went single, homer, double and triple -- all by the seventh inning. Check out all of his swings below.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Out of race, Pirates to play young players

Out of race, Pirates to play young players

PITTSBURGH -- With the Pirates officially eliminated from the postseason race, expect them to pivot away from a few banged-up regulars with an eye on the future.

The Bucs were mathematically bounced out of the National League Wild Card race late Tuesday night after losing to the Cubs and waking up to find the Giants had beaten the Rockies in San Francisco. Their younger players have seen the field quite a bit over the last two months, so there won't be many dramatic changes over the final five games.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs officially eliminated, but will keep moving forward

Bucs officially eliminated, but will keep moving forward

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates began the season with postseason expectations and championship aspirations. They want to play meaningful games in September and playoff baseball in October, as general manager Neal Huntington has often said.

But that dream officially ended late Tuesday night, when the Pirates lost their fourth straight game, a 6-4 defeat to the Cubs, and the Giants beat the Rockies, 12-3, in San Francisco. The combination of those two outcomes left Pittsburgh mathematically eliminated from the postseason race.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates' 9th-inning rally falls short vs. Cubs

Pirates' 9th-inning rally falls short vs. Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- Realistically, the Cubs have little left to play for this week. With a 100-win season and the best record in the Majors secured, their sights are now set on the month to come. But still, the Cubs continued their roll into October on Tuesday night at PNC Park, beating the Pirates, 6-4, for their third straight win.

The Pirates' fourth straight loss put them on the brink of mathematical elimination from the National League Wild Card race, dropping their elimination number to one, and the Giants finished the job late Tuesday night at AT&T Park, as their 12-3 win over the Rockies officially put Pittsburgh out of the running.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips auditioning for '17 bullpen role

Lefty reliever making good first impression with Pirates after being acquired from Orioles

Phillips auditioning for '17 bullpen role

PITTSBURGH -- Zach Phillips hadn't pitched in the Majors since 2013 when the Pirates called him up in Philadelphia two weeks ago. But the Bucs didn't hesitate to throw him into their bullpen -- or into the fire.

In Monday night's 12-2 loss to the Cubs, the 30-year-old lefty reliever entered the game with nobody out and the bases loaded in the fourth inning. He was tasked with facing Anthony Rizzo, one of the Cubs' two National League Most Valuable Player Award candidates, and struck him out on four pitches, burying a slider below the strike zone for the final whiff.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cutch on Cubs, competing, core-group strength

Cutch on Cubs, competing, core-group strength

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have dealt with a number of issues this year: a rash of injuries, a challenging schedule, a slew of disappointing performances. But their biggest problem, in the short and long term, just might be the Cubs.

The Bucs were blown out Monday night, 12-2, to open a four-game series at PNC Park. They have lost 13 of 16 matchups with the Cubs this season, and they have been outscored, 103-60, in those 16 games.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solo shots too little, too late in Bucs' loss

Solo shots too little, too late in Bucs' loss

PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs won their 100th game of the season Monday night the same way they checked off the first 99 -- with dominant starting pitching and an overpowering offensive attack. Javier Baez hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs, Kyle Hendricks lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.99 and the Cubs rolled over the Pirates, 12-2, at PNC Park.

"It's not too often you get this much talent in one room on one team," said Kris Bryant, who celebrated the 100th win by driving in his 100th and 101st RBIs on a two-run homer. "We need to realize what we have here and be grateful for it. I couldn't have pictured a better first two years in the big leagues."

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kang's late power surge bodes well for 2017

Kang's late power surge bodes well for 2017

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates weren't expecting Jung Ho Kang to be himself this season. Coming back from a serious injury to his left knee and major surgery to repair it, the thinking went that Kang would have to wait until 2017 to regain his full strength.

The way Kang has hit this season, that may not be the case. Or perhaps his performance in 2016 indicates that he's due for an even bigger season next year.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs strike deal for Nats prospect Bostick

Infielder will go to Pittsburgh in exchange for Gushue, cash

Bucs strike deal for Nats prospect Bostick

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates added another versatile Minor League infielder to their system Monday afternoon, acquiring prospect Chris Bostick from the Nationals for catcher Taylor Gushue and cash considerations.

Bostick, 23, hit a combined .250/.313/.386 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs in 135 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season. Rated as the Nationals' No. 30 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, Bostick will not join the Pirates over the final week of the season, but he will hold down a spot on their 40-man roster.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs' WC chances take hit in loss to Nats

Bucs' WC chances take hit in loss to Nats

PITTSBURGH -- There was a lot of pushing and shoving behind home plate in the third inning of the Nationals and Pirates' series finale Sunday afternoon at PNC Park. Plenty of give-and-take on the scoreboard, too. The Pirates pushed, but the Nats pushed back with a five-run eighth inning, pulling out a 10-7 win in the back-and-forth, four-hour affair.

The Pirates and Nats combined to use 17 pitchers, one shy of the Major League record for a nine-inning game. In total, 45 different players took the field, tying the NL record and falling one short of matching the Major League high for a nine-inning game.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates, Hurdle mourn loss of 'wonderful' Fernandez

Skipper remembers Marlins' ace for enthusiasm, emotion and skill

Pirates, Hurdle mourn loss of 'wonderful' Fernandez

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates joined the rest of the baseball world Sunday in mourning the tragic loss of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, one of the game's brightest young stars and most infectiously energetic personalities.

Fernandez died early Sunday in a boating accident in Miami Beach. He was 24.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tempers flare in Pittsburgh after deke, near-HBP

Nats starter Cole's ejection prompts benches-clearing fracas

Tempers flare in Pittsburgh after deke, near-HBP

PITTSBURGH -- The Nationals believed it was unnecessary and wrong. The Pirates thought it was typical and crafty. Their disagreement over Jung Ho Kang's fake tag on Bryce Harper ended with both dugouts and bullpens emptying onto the field, sparking a benches-clearing incident in the third inning of Washington's 10-7 win Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

Tempers began to boil in the top of the third, when Bryce Harper laced a line drive to right field. He stretched the hit into a triple, hustling to third base even as right fielder Josh Bell's throw sailed wide of Kang. But Kang faked a tag, leading Harper to make an awkward slide into the bag.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

As Nats clinch, young Bucs gain key experience

As Nats clinch, young Bucs gain key experience

PITTSBURGH -- The last three years, the Pirates reported to work on Sept. 24 with a spot in the postseason secured. They clinched on Sept. 23, 2013, did so again on Sept. 23, 2014, and once more on Sept. 23, 2015.

This year, the Pirates showed up on Sept. 24 and watched another team clinch a division title. The Bucs lost to the Nationals, 6-1, at PNC Park on Saturday night, and a few minutes later the Nats began celebrating their third National League East title in the last five years.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sloppy play hurts as Pirates fall back to .500

Sloppy play hurts as Pirates fall back to .500

PITTSBURGH -- What felt inevitable all spring and summer became official Saturday night. For the third time in five years, the Nationals are National League East champions.

The Nats beat the Pirates, 6-1, then waited 23 minutes until the Mets' 10-8 loss to the Phillies in New York, which officially clinched the division title and punched Washington's postseason ticket. Then the celebration was on.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glasnow hopes to take 'pen lessons into rotation

Pirates liked top prospect's mentality in relief, and now he'll be back to starting Sunday

Glasnow hopes to take 'pen lessons into rotation

PITTSBURGH -- Tyler Glasnow did his time in the bullpen. Now he's moving back into the Pirates' rotation.

The Pirates' top prospect will start Sunday's series finale against the Nationals at PNC Park, replacing left-hander Steven Brault, in his first big league start since July 23. Pittsburgh hopes that Glasnow's brief stint as a reliever will serve him well as he returns to a starting role. Brault moved out of the rotation and into the Bucs' bullpen on Saturday.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Howe reflects on his 7 trips to the postseason

Q&A: Howe reflects on his 7 trips to the postseason

Art Howe came out of the University of Wyoming figuring his dreams of becoming a professional athlete weren't going to come true. He returned home to Pittsburgh, went to work and played baseball in weekend leagues for the fun of it.

Then, at the age of 24, a Pirates scout saw enough of Howe to offer him a contract, and his dream came true.

Continue Reading

Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates solve Melancon, walk off in 11 on Stallings' hit

Pirates solve Melancon, walk off in 11 on Stallings' hit

PITTSBURGH -- With the champagne chilling and their clubhouse prepared for a celebration, the Nationals couldn't seal the deal Friday night at PNC Park. About an hour after the Mets put the Nats' division-clinching party on hold in New York, the Pirates kept Washington from officially punching its ticket to the postseason. The Bucs cracked Mark Melancon, their former closer, then little-used September callup Jacob Stallings slapped a pinch-hit, walk-off single to left field in the 11th inning to cap a 6-5 comeback win over the Nats.

Stallings was the last man on the Pirates' bench, the 25th different Pittsburgh player used in the four-hour, 36-minute marathon. He had done the math earlier in the 11th inning, coming to the conclusion that the only way he'd hit -- the only way he'd see a big league field for the first time since June 21 -- was with the bases loaded and two outs. That situation presented itself against Yusmeiro Petit, and Stallings delivered his second Major League hit over Anthony Rendon's head.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Polanco runs into wall, bruises face

Hurdle unsure if Bucs outfielder will play Saturday

Polanco runs into wall, bruises face

PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco left the Pirates' 6-5, 11-inning win over the Nationals in the first inning on Friday night with a left facial contusion after slamming face-first into the left-field wall, the team announced.

Trying to track down Bryce Harper's shot to left field, Polanco leaped to make the catch and bounced off the wall as the ball hopped away. The outfielder's face appeared to take the brunt of the blow, and he was slow to get up after falling to the warning track.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nova likes idea of re-signing with Pirates

Free agent to be has thrived since trade from Yankees

Nova likes idea of re-signing with Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates would love to have Ivan Nova in their rotation next season. Nova made it clear Friday he would love to stay in Pittsburgh. Looking to find a middle ground so both sides can get what they want, the Pirates have reportedly opened contract talks with Nova's camp.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Thursday that the Pirates have made two extension offers to Nova, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. Greg Genske, Nova's agent, confirmed the report to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Friday, telling the newspaper that "while there is mutual interest ... no agreement is imminent."

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coke joins Bucs as Schugel shut down

Coke joins Bucs as Schugel shut down

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates shut down reliever A.J. Schugel on Friday, sending him to the 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury. The transaction made room on the roster for left-hander Phil Coke, who joined the club Friday after being traded by the Yankees a day earlier.

Coke will pitch out of the bullpen, capable of being a long reliever or lefty specialist. The Bucs have leaned heavily on their relievers this month, wearing down a group already thinned out by injuries (Schugel and Neftali Feliz) and a number of Triple-A starters not used to pitching on consecutive days.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blown save aside, Melancon has warm Pittsburgh return

Closer appreciates ovation as he tries to help Nats the way he aided Bucs

Blown save aside, Melancon has warm Pittsburgh return

PITTSBURGH -- Mark Melancon admitted it was a little strange to be sitting in the visitors' dugout at PNC Park, wearing his red Nationals hoodie, for the first time since he was traded from the Pirates in July.

That weirdness carried over to when he took the mound in the ninth, when although they did not play his usual walkup song, "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, he was greeted with a tribute on the video board and a standing ovation from the 29,513 fans in attendance. The Pirates' offense didn't treat him as nicely, rallying to hand Melancon his first blown save as a member of the Nationals during a 6-5 Pittsburgh win in 11 innings.

Continue Reading

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates lose ground in WC, drop finale to Crew

Pirates lose ground in WC, drop finale to Crew

MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight series, the Pirates were denied a needed sweep. This time, an injury dealt their faint postseason hopes an additional blow.

Scooter Gennett and Chris Carter homered for the Brewers, Chase Anderson pitched effectively into the sixth and Milwaukee played spoiler, denying Pittsburgh a three-game sweep with a 3-1 win Thursday at Miller Park. Besides the loss, the Pirates saw outfielder Starling Marte's return to the lineup from a back ailment last all of two full innings before his early exit.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte exits during return with back tightness

Marte exits during return with back tightness

MILWAUKEE -- Making his first start since Sept. 5, Pirates outfielder Starling Marte exited Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Brewers with back tightness in the third inning.

Marte missed 15 consecutive games with back spasms before making his return to the lineup on Thursday, batting second. After fouling off a pitch from starter Chase Anderson, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk visited with Marte outside the batter's box before he left the game.

Continue Reading

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cervelli gets silent treatment, decides to go bowling

|
Cervelli gets silent treatment, decides to go bowling

With less than two weeks left in the season, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli reached a significant milestone: He hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to right field during Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Brewers. And, much like with anyone's first home run of the year, there was much rejoicing.

Continue Reading on Cut4

S-Rod paces Bucs at plate in win over Crew

S-Rod paces Bucs at plate in win over Crew

MILWAUKEE -- Sean Rodriguez and the Pirates picked a good day to stay hot in the National League Wild Card race.

While the Cardinals, Mets and Marlins all lost, and the Giants fell into a deep early hole against the Dodgers, the Pirates scored another wire-to-wire win over the Brewers in Milwaukee, where Rodriguez's two-run single capped a three-run first inning, and his solo homer in the fourth added insurance on the way to a 4-1 victory.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hurdle leans on bullish bullpen for 5 innings

Hughes cleans up jam for Brault with pivotal double play

Hurdle leans on bullish bullpen for 5 innings

MILWAUKEE -- Before Tuesday's game against the Brewers, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said the leash with his starting pitchers would be shorter as his team clings to slim postseason hopes. Hurdle executed that plan hours later, and it led to Pittsburgh's 6-3 win at Miller Park.

With nobody out in the fifth and the power-hitting Chris Carter representing the potential tying run in a 5-2 game, Hurdle pulled starter Steven Brault. Reliever Jared Hughes induced a game-changing double play to lead the charge as five Pirates' relievers combined to throw five scoreless frames to seal the victory.

Continue Reading

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.