CINCINNATI -- It isn't like the Reds don't put the hurt on other Pirates. Cincinnati has taken nine of 12 games against the Bucs this season, including Saturday's 4-3 Pirates loss, and 21 of 31 since the 2013 Wild Card celebration in PNC Park.
It is a lineup of Pirates predators. For instance, total the productions of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Todd Frazier this season, and you will find that 25 percent of their home runs and 23 percent of their RBIs have come against the Pirates. So a lot of them have taken hits.
CINCINNATI -- Eugenio Suarez drove in three runs to back Raisel Iglesias' four-hit pitching into the seventh Saturday as the Reds downed the Pirates, 4-3, in a sold-out Great American Ball Park.
Iglesias was in control for 6 2/3 innings -- his second longest of eight starts -- to out-duel Gerrit Cole for his second win. He allowed four hits and walked two, striking out five. One of the hits off him was Jung Ho Kang's solo homer in the fourth, his eighth of the season and third in five games.
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. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Morton looks to break out of recent slump in finale
By Robert Bondy
Right-hander Keyvius Sampson will make his first career start when the Reds and Pirates wrap up a four-game series on Sunday at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET.
Sampson made his Major League debut earlier in the series when he came out of the bullpen on Thursday to strike out two in one scoreless inning of relief. Sampson is 3-6 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 appearances, including 15 starts, between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville this season.
CINCINNATI -- J.A. Happ checked in early Saturday, not only to join the Pirates starting rotation, but also to shake it up.
The lefty, acquired late Friday from Seattle, will fill in for A.J. Burnett, who is on the disabled list for right elbow inflammation. That slot would have him pitch on Tuesday in PNC Park against the Cubs, between fellow southpaws Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke. Manager Clint Hurdle and pitching coach Ray Searage aren't crazy about having three straight lefties face the Cubs.
CINCINNATI -- Starling Marte had unleashed impressive throws before. He had made acrobatic, physics-defying catches before. But he had never before showcased his defensive arsenal on back-to-back plays, and he picked a jaw-dropping time to debut that parlay Friday.
Marte single-handedly turned back the Reds in the bottom of the ninth inning. Cincinnati was about to add to its torment of the Pirates and instead was sent home muttering about a 5-4 defeat.
CINCINNATI -- Following an afternoon where they were frisky at the Trade Deadline with multiple moves, the Pirates battled back and then held on for a 5-4 victory over the Reds on Friday that snapped Cincinnati's three-game winning streak.
CINCINNATI - Joakim Soria had the definite deja vu vibes on Friday. Not only was the right-handed reliever on the move at the non-waiver Trade Deadline for the second straight year, but he also again moved out of his habitual closing role.
A year ago, he was dealt from the back end of Texas' bullpen into the middle of Detroit's. His setup role there lasted only into the first week of this season, when the Tigers lost Joe Nathan to elbow surgery. Soria stepped back into the ninth-inning fire to convert 23 of 26 save opportunities.
Marte Partay saves the game for the Pirates -- twice
By Chris Landers |
Poor Cincinnati. Here they thought they were playing just an ordinary baseball game against the Pirates, one that abided by ordinary baseball rules and offered a chance at victory or defeat. Down by just a run in the bottom of the ninth, the Reds rallied, putting two men on with just one out and looking to walk off with a win.
Little did they know that, in reality, they had been cordially invited to the Marte Partay, and the festivities were about to begin. First, after a Todd Frazier single that seemed sure to tie the game, Starling played a stirring game of Pin the Baseball on Brandon Phillips.
CINCINNATI -- The dramatic midseason transformation of the Pirates came with a significant Friday sidebar, when right-hander A.J. Burnett was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.
Additionally, righty Deolis Guerra was designated for assignment by the Bucs.
CINCINNATI -- The National League Central race still has 10 weeks to go. But the Pirates have already beaten out the Cardinals on one count: Joakim Soria.
Swinging their second deal of the day to solidify the bullpen, the Bucs on Thursday acquired the Tigers' closer -- who had been also on the wish-list of the Cardinals, looking to bolster their own bullpen even after last week's acquisition of Steve Cishek from the Marlins.
CINCINNATI -- As many eyes spy what both teams might do before today's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Reds produced a big offensive display for a third-straight victory in a 15-5 win over the Pirates on Thursday. Leading the way was Brandon Phillips, who hit two home runs and drove in a career-high seven RBIs. For the second time in eight days, Joey Votto reached base five times, while scoring three runs.
"It was a great game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "To score that much, and have everybody influence the offense, I know that feels good for our hitters."
CINCINNATI -- Five pitchers worked for the Pirates on Thursday night. Only two avoided being scored upon by the Reds in their 15-5 win: Arquimedes Caminero, who made one pitch to get the final out of the seventh, and Jaff Decker, who worked a scoreless eighth.
CINCINNATI -- In an awkwardly timed media conference, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington was cornered into saying some awkward things. Huntington was discussing via phone the acquisition of reliever Joakim Soria in the early going of the Bucs' game with the Reds, and he was asked about also fortifying the starting rotation in the hours remaining before today's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"I don't see anything available out there that would be an upgrade over what we now have, at the price it is being offered," Huntington said.
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates picked up veteran right-hander Joe Blanton late Wednesday night, acquiring him from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations.
Blanton, 34, is expected to join the Pirates before Thursday night's series opener against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Pittsburgh will make a corresponding move after Blanton officially joins the roster.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew McCutchen had three RBIs, including a two-run homer, to back left-hander Francisco Liriano against his former team in a 10-4 win for the Pirates over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.
McCutchen came up big for Pittsburgh, crushing a game-tying two-run blast in the fifth before coming through with another big hit as part of a five-run sixth. With two runners on, McCutchen smacked a liner to right that Eddie Rosario couldn't handle, and he ended up scoring on the play due to interference from third baseman Eduardo Nunez.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Matchup relief pitchers are commonplace in baseball. Specialists abound. When a game-changing left-handed hitter comes up, you go get your southpaw. When the bases are loaded, the Pirates go get Jared Hughes.
"I've been going to this man like he's a Swiss Army Knife," manager Clint Hurdle said Wednesday afternoon, after Hughes had whittled another opposition hope down to nothing in the Bucs' eventual 10-4 win over the Twins at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Tyler Glasnow, the Bucs' No. 1 prospect, has been promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis, keeping him on schedule to join the Pirates' 2016 rotation.
Three weeks shy of his 22nd birthday, the 6-foot-8 right-hander joins Indianapolis after a particularly dominant stretch with Double-A Altoona. In five July starts for the Curve, he posted a 2.40 ERA while racking up 46 strikeouts and just seven walks in 30 innings.
MINNEAPOLIS -- After the Twins rallied to tie the game with four runs in the eighth inning, Jung Ho Kang delivered a go-ahead solo homer off closer Glen Perkins in the ninth to lift the Pirates to an 8-7 win Tuesday night at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS - The starters' picture is solid. Not only do the Pirates' starting pitchers rate high with their 42 wins and 3.26 ERA, but there are ample next-man-up candidates on the Triple-A level. The bullpen's end is even stouter. When Tony Watson and Mark Melancon have worked back-to-back to close it out, the Bucs are 23-3.
Although, admittedly, the latest entry in that log Tuesday night was somewhat bizarre, as Watson reeled through arguably the worst outing of his career to bring the Twins back into a game the Bucs would eventually bag, 8-7.
Morton named Bob Feller Act of Valor Award nominee
By Andrew Simon
The active Major League players and Hall of Famers nominated for the 2015 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award were revealed Tuesday.
The award, now in its third year, honors the legacy of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who became the first professional athlete to enlist in the U.S. military after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. A current MLB player, a Hall of Famer and a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer are recognized each Veterans Day in a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
PITTSBURGH -- Aramis Ramirez has come a long way since he last played for the Pirates. He was 25 years old when the Bucs traded him to the Cubs -- just entering the prime of a career that lasted 18 seasons.
Twelve years later, Ramirez was traded back to Pittsburgh, where he'll play the final months of his career. And the veteran third baseman was quick to point out that the Pirates have also come a long way since Ramirez last called PNC Park home.
If we had to pinpoint the one theme of this 2015 season that stands out above all others, it's unquestionably the dominating impact and the infusion of youth on the Major League scene. Never was this more evident than on Monday night when 23-year-old Cubs rookie Kris Bryant cracked his first career walk-off homer into the Wrigley Field bleachers to give the Cubs a dramatic 9-8 win against the Rockies.
And just an hour or so before Bryant's blast landed, the mere suggestion that the Dodgers might consider trading 24-year-old Yasiel Puig turned social media upside down.
By Adam Berry and John McGonigal
MLB.com |@adamdberry |
PITTSBURGH -- All-Star right-hander Gerrit Cole picked up his Major League-leading 14th win of the season, as the Pirates beat the Nationals, 3-1, at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon.
A day after the Nationals pounded out nine runs on 14 hits, Cole limited Washington to one run on seven hits while striking out eight over 7 2/3 innings. He lowered his ERA to 2.24, the third-lowest mark in the National League.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.