Frazier's walk-off HR ends Bucs' 7-game skid

Frazier's walk-off HR ends Bucs' 7-game skid

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers closer Corey Knebel picked a bad night to have a bad night.

With the Rockies' and Cubs' losses already on the out-of-town scoreboard, Knebel's eighth-inning error snapped his streak of 21 straight saves, and his leadoff walk in the ninth extended the inning for Adam Frazier's two-out, two-run, walk-off home run in a 6-4 Pirates win over the Brewers at PNC Park on Wednesday night.

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

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.

Brault, Glasnow trending in different directions

Lefty tosses five efficient innings, while hard-throwing righty struggles with command

Brault, Glasnow trending in different directions

PITTSBURGH -- Steven Brault knew he had five innings on Wednesday night. The Pirates had a plan, and Brault's part did not include the sixth inning -- no matter how effective he was, no matter how efficiently he worked.

Brault made a pretty convincing case to stay, holding the Brewers to two runs -- on a pair of solo homers -- as he recorded 15 outs on 65 pitches and left the game with a one-run lead. In three starts over the past 15 days, Brault has a 2.81 ERA and, most importantly, the Pirates have won all three games, including Wednesday's 6-4 victory over Milwaukee.

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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 welcomes WC-chasing Cards in opener

Nova welcomes WC-chasing Cards in opener

If the Cardinals want to keep up with the Brewers and Rockies in the National League Wild Card race, they could use another sweep of the Pirates this weekend at PNC Park.

The Cards beat the Bucs three games in a row at Busch Stadium from Sept. 8-10, vaulting back into the NL Central and Wild Card races. They have lost ground to the Cubs in the former, but they still have time to make a run at the second Wild Card spot, especially if they can take care of business against the Pirates, as they've done 10 times in 16 matchups this season.

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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.

Schugel quietly proving value in bullpen

Schugel quietly proving value in bullpen

PITTSBURGH -- Quietly, the Bucs may have found another answer for their 2018 bullpen in A.J. Schugel. The 28-year-old right-hander may fit as a jam-defusing fireman and bridge from the starting pitcher to the late-inning relievers, a role he's filled in the second half of the season.

"That's proven to be one of his strengths," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He has been the first and foremost guy we've gone to and gotten up when we've had a lead to be the guy who can come in and face right-handed and left-handed hitters. … He's learned how to pitch. He stays within his skillset."

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

Bucs fall to Crew despite Williams' strong start

Bucs fall to Crew despite Williams' strong start

PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers, thanks to their strong arms on the mound and in the outfield, won another series. Now they will eye a sweep.

Chase Anderson continued his string of solid starts by pitching six scoreless innings, and Domingo Santana backed him with a solo homer in a 1-0 win over the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park. The shutout was also aided by the burgeoning reputation of center fielder Brett Phillips, who kept the potential tying run from even thinking of trying to score from third in the sixth on a flyout to center. Phillips unleashed a 104.7-mph throw to the plate -- the hardest-thrown ball this season, according to Statcast™ -- and he now owns the top three hardest outfield throws for 2017.

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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.

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.

Kang ready to put past to rest, get back to ball

Kang ready to put past to rest, get back to ball

PITTSBURGH -- After a year away from professional baseball, Jung Ho Kang is ready to play again. In an interview with the Yonhap News Agency published Tuesday, Kang apologized for the drunken-driving arrest that has kept him out of the United States this season and looked forward to his time in the Dominican Winter League.

Kang has spent the entire season on the restricted list, unable to acquire a U.S. work visa or play for the Pirates. He has not often spoken publicly since his December arrest for driving under the influence, his third such arrest since 2009, which led to an eight-month jail sentence that was suspended for two years.

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

Cervelli's season comes to an end

Cervelli's season comes to an end

PITTSBURGH -- Catcher Francisco Cervelli has played only three innings since Aug. 13 due to injuries, and said on Friday that he "never had it in my mind to quit" and still wants to play in 2017, but when he sat down in manager Clint Hurdle's office on Monday afternoon, he realized he had simply run out of time.

Sidelined since Aug. 26 by a sore left quadriceps, Cervelli has been taking batting practice and jogging but not blocking balls behind the plate or running the bases. So with 12 games remaining, the Pirates decided to shut him down for the rest of the season.

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

Quiet bats, baserunning gaffes hurt Pirates

Quiet bats, baserunning gaffes hurt Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- With the Cubs and Rockies idle, Monday offered the Brewers an opportunity to gain ground in each of their two paths to the postseason. Mission accomplished.

Ryan Braun homered and five pitchers combined for the Brewers' 11th shutout victory, a 3-0 triumph over the slumping Pirates at PNC Park. With 12 games left on their schedule, the Brewers pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Cubs in the National League Central and two games of the Rockies in the race for the second NL Wild Card.

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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.

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

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

Jaso homers, but Bucs drop finale to Reds

Jaso homers, but Bucs drop finale to Reds

CINCINNATI -- The Reds have spent the last 96 days in last place in the National League Central, but they spent the past three days climbing closer to the fourth-place Pirates. The Reds rode a five-run sixth to a 5-2 win on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park and pulling within two games of the Bucs.

"You want to strive for a lot more [than fourth place], but we have a shot at the next best thing than where we are," said Reds manager Bryan Price, whose club has been in last place since June 13.

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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.

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Reds on Sunday.

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

Bucs outright Hutchison, lean on young arms

Bucs outright Hutchison, lean on young arms

CINCINNATI -- Coming into the year, Drew Hutchison had a shot to crack the Pirates' Opening Day rotation. When they determined that he wouldn't end the season in Pittsburgh, the Pirates effectively cut ties with Hutchison.

Now off Pittsburgh's 40-man roster, Hutchison -- the Pirates' lone return for Francisco Liriano and two prospects in a trade last July -- will likely declare himself a free agent after the World Series, general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday.

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

'Positive mindset' leads to bounceback for Nova

Starter tosses 6 1/3 strong innings vs. Cincinnati, then exits due to right calf tightness

'Positive mindset' leads to bounceback for Nova

CINCINNATI -- Ivan Nova was in first-half form Saturday afternoon at Great American Ball Park and hopes to finish the second half strong despite leaving the Pirates' 2-1 loss to the Reds early due to right calf tightness.

After struggling through his past 10 starts and posting a 6.62 ERA since the All-Star break, Nova was at his best against the Reds. He retired Cincinnati's first 11 hitters in order and faced the minimum 18 through six innings.

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

Increased playing time a boon to backstop Diaz

Pirates catcher studying with bench coach between games to improve rapport with pitchers

Increased playing time a boon to backstop Diaz

CINCINNATI -- The Pirates are getting a long look at catcher Elias Diaz this month, starting the rookie in 12 of their final 14 games. While the Bucs believe more consistent playing time will benefit Diaz as they look toward next season, some of his most important work takes place between games.

Most afternoons, Diaz reviews sequences from the previous day's game with bench coach Tom Prince, a former catcher, often alongside veterans Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. Manager Clint Hurdle recently called it a "simulator," a chance for Diaz to break down games in retrospect or when he's not playing.

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

Efforts from Cutch, Nova not enough in loss

Efforts from Cutch, Nova not enough in loss

CINCINNATI -- Pirates starter Ivan Nova was perfect for three innings on Saturday. He faced the minimum 18 Reds batters through six innings. But Jesse Winker got to Nova in the seventh inning, supporting Sal Romano's gem with a solo shot to right field in the Reds' 2-1 win over the Bucs at Great American Ball Park.

Nearing the end of a disappointing second half, Nova rediscovered his first-half form Saturday afternoon, needing only 63 pitches to cruise through six innings. Winker led off the seventh with a Statcast-projected 374-foot shot into the right-field seats, his second homer in five games since coming off the disabled list.

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

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Reds on Saturday.

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

Homers get to Kuhl as Bucs drop Reds opener

Homers get to Kuhl as Bucs drop Reds opener

CINCINNATI -- The Pirates have entered a nose-dive in September, and encountering the Reds -- who have owned Pittsburgh in 2017 -- won't help. Cincinnati supported pitcher Homer Bailey with four home runs en route to a 4-2 victory on Friday at Great American Ball Park. The Reds have won 11 of 17 games in the season series vs. Pittsburgh.

Bailey gave the Reds 5 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run and five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts to notch his first victory since Aug. 11.

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

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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

Bucs outright Hutchison to Indianapolis

Move shows righty, acquired for Liriano at 2016 Deadline, not in Bucs' plans

Bucs outright Hutchison to Indianapolis

CINCINNATI -- The Pirates removed Drew Hutchison from their 40-man roster on Friday and assigned him outright to Triple-A Indianapolis, effectively cutting ties with the 27-year-old right-hander they acquired last summer.

Given his service time, Hutchison will qualify for Minor League free agency at the end of the season. The Pirates did not call up Hutchison this month despite his Major League experience, quietly making it apparent that he was no longer in their plans.

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

Pirates 'very proud' of Altoona's title, sweep

Hurdle on Double-A squad: 'Everybody showed up. Everybody threw something in'

Pirates 'very proud' of Altoona's title, sweep

CINCINNATI -- As he ate dinner Thursday night, Pirates outfielder Jordan Luplow was locked in on his phone. After starting this season with Double-A Altoona, he wanted to catch the end of the club's championship run.

The Altoona Curve beat the Trenton Thunder, 4-2, on Thursday to sweep the Eastern League championship series and complete a perfect postseason. Altoona became the third Eastern League team to sweep all six of its playoff games since 1983.

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

Inbox: Will Bucs try Glasnow in bullpen?

Beat reporter Adam Berry fields Pirates fans' questions

Inbox: Will Bucs try Glasnow in bullpen?

The Pirates were off Thursday, resting before the first of their final 15 games this season. As they continue to look toward 2018, we will do the same in the latest Pirates Inbox.

Do you think Tyler Glasnow in the bullpen could work? Like a one-inning guy, maybe a setup guy to Felipe Rivero if it works.
-- Guy B., Winston-Salem, N.C.

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

Cutch joins exclusive club with 200th Bucs HR

Pirates outfielder hit first pitch he saw Wednesday for dinger

Cutch joins exclusive club with 200th Bucs HR

MILWAUKEE -- Andrew McCutchen joined an exclusive group of Pirates legends on Wednesday night at Miller Park.

In the first inning of the Pirates' 8-2 loss, McCutchen crushed the first pitch he saw from Brewers starter Chase Anderson deep to left-center field for his 25th home run of the season. It was also the 200th homer of McCutchen's career, making him the fourth player to reach that milestone in a Pirates uniform.

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

Glasnow struggles with walks in loss to Crew

Glasnow struggles with walks in loss to Crew

MILWAUKEE -- Life without Jimmy Nelson began for the Brewers on Wednesday, when Chase Anderson pitched on short rest in place of Milwaukee's injured ace and led the way to an 8-2 win over the Pirates at Miller Park.

Eric Thames hit a go-ahead two-run home run in a four-run third inning, rookie center fielder Brett Phillips drove in three runs and saved another with a sensational throw home, and the Brewers kept pace with the Cubs in the National League Central. Milwaukee remained 2 1/2 games behind Chicago while moving into second place, one-half game ahead of the Cardinals.

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

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

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

Keller leads Curve to League championship

Keller leads Curve to League championship

Led by ace Mitch Keller on the mound, the Altoona Curve completed their second straight postseason series sweep on Thursday as they defeated Trenton, 4-2, to claim the Double-A Eastern League title.

It marked the second championship in franchise history for the Curve. They last won in 2010, when they beat Trenton in four games.

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

Cole K's 10, but Bucs undone by 4-run inning

Cole K's 10, but Bucs undone by 4-run inning

MILWAUKEE -- For the first time in three weeks, the pennant-hungry Brewers took care of business against a team below the break-even point.

Domingo Santana's two-run double provided a lead amid a four-run third inning, and Brewers manager Craig Counsell pieced together 27 outs with seven different pitchers in a 5-2 win over the Pirates at Miller Park, snapping Milwaukee's five-game losing streak against teams with sub-.500 records.

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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.

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' 2018 slate features early Interleague Play

Bucs' 2018 slate features early Interleague Play

The Pirates will begin the season in an American League ballpark for the second consecutive year, as they are set for a 2018 Opening Day matchup against the Tigers in Detroit.

Pittsburgh Pirates 2018 schedule

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

Pirates' Waddell leads Curve to Game 1 win

Pirates' Waddell leads Curve to Game 1 win

TRENTON, N.J. -- Brandon Waddell can't quite pinpoint when he was first anointed with his 'Big Game' nickname - it was either during the University of Virginia's College World Series run in 2014 or 2015, he said - but he's not complaining about it and based on his playoff track record, it looks like it might just stick.

The Pirates' No. 23 prospect continued his postseason success with Double-A Altoona Tuesday night, hurling six scoreless frames as the Curve took down Double-A Trenton in a 2-1 pitchers' duel at ARM & HAMMER Park in Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series.

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Matt Castello is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @matt_castello. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brault does it all during 'impressive night'

Brault does it all during 'impressive night'

MILWAUKEE -- Steven Brault hit nearly .400 in his final season as a college pitcher/outfielder at Regis University, and he's been even better than that in the Minor Leagues. So nobody in the Pirates' dugout was shocked to see him pull a double to right field, then rip a two-run single to center on Monday night.

The more significant development for Brault was not his swing, but the Brewers' swings -- more specifically, their swings and misses. Brault held Milwaukee to one hit, struck out six over six innings and earned his first Major League win in Pittsburgh's 7-0 victory at Miller Park.

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

Waddell fires six scoreless

Waddell fires six scoreless

Tasked with starting the most important game of the season, Brendan McKay was at his best.

McKay, Tampa Bay's No. 3 prospect (No. 29 overall), was nearly untouchable on Tuesday as he allowed one hit in five scoreless innings to lead Class A Short Season Hudson Valley past Staten Island, 7-1, and into the New York-Penn League finals.

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

Brault, Bucs slow Brewers' postseason push

Brault, Bucs slow Brewers' postseason push

MILWAUKEE -- Steven Brault and the Pirates spoiled what was supposed to be a happy homecoming for the Brewers, who managed just three singles in a 7-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday in their return from a weekend sweep of division-leading Chicago.

The Brewers ran into a roadblock in Brault, who earned his first Major League win after collecting more hits (two) then he surrendered (one) in six scoreless innings of the Pirates' series-opening win at Miller Park. Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Jordy Mercer homered while Brault, A.J. Schugel, Daniel Hudson and Felipe Rivero combined on a three-hit shutout.

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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.

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 use September to assess pitching options

Bucs use September to assess pitching options

MILWAUKEE -- As they evaluate their young starters and begin looking toward 2018, the Pirates will juggle their rotation over the next three weeks.

There are seven starters in the mix for Pittsburgh, and only Gerrit Cole is guaranteed to hold down a spot the rest of the season. Manager Clint Hurdle said Monday that Cole won't miss a turn, but the Pirates appear to have a more flexible approach with their other arms.

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

Glasnow, Stallings among six Pirates recalled

Glasnow, Stallings among six Pirates recalled

ST. LOUIS -- With the season nearing its conclusion, the Pirates added some new and some familiar faces to their roster prior to Sunday's game against the Cardinals. The team promoted right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow along with five other players, as catcher Jacob Stallings, righties Edgar Santana and Johnny Barbato and left-handers Jack Leathersich and Dan Runzler were all added to the roster from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Josh Harrison was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Runzler.

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Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis and covered the Pirates on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.