Cole has rare off start in loss to Brewers

Cole has rare off start in loss to Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- Adam Lind's two-run double highlighted a first-inning ambush of Pirates ace Gerrit Cole as the Brewers derailed the Cole Train and Pittsburgh's postseason express with a 7-4 victory at Miller Park on Tuesday night.

Lind's two-bagger keyed a four-run first, the Brewers added a run in the second and Jimmy Nelson converted the early lead into his fourth win of the season over the Bucs. Nelson allowed four hits and a run in seven innings, striking out six without issuing a walk and lowering his ERA against Pittsburgh to 1.72 in five starts.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. 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.

Liz looks 'improved, refined' to Hurdle in relief

Righty throws two no-hit innings for Pirates during return to Majors

Liz looks 'improved, refined' to Hurdle in relief

MILWAUKEE -- It was a long time, and a lot of hard work, between scoreless outings for Radhames Liz.

There are not many good things about a pasting such as the one absorbed Tuesday night by the Pirates, 7-4 at the Brewers' hands. But a definite positive in this one was the immediate opportunity it gave Liz to showcase what he has worked on for three months with Triple-A Indianapolis.

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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.

Pirates call up 6, including Snider and Diaz

Club also adds Decker, LaFromboise, Liz and Scahill

Pirates call up 6, including Snider and Diaz

MILWAUKEE -- The Pirates dipped into their very recent past -- Travis Snider was back in his familiar Black & Gold No. 23 -- and glimpsed the future -- meteoric catching prospect Elias Diaz wore the widest smile in Miller Park's visitors' clubhouse -- as Minor League callups joined manager Clint Hurdle's arsenal Tuesday.

As expected, Snider and Diaz were among six players added to the expanded roster, along with outfielder Jaff Decker, lefty Bobby LaFromboise and right-handers Radhames Liz and Rob Scahill -- who was recalled from his rehab assignment (forearm tightness) and activated off the disabled list.

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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.

Prospects Meadows, McGuire headed to AFL

Prospects Meadows, McGuire headed to AFL

MILWAUKEE -- Outfielder Austin Meadows and catcher Reese McGuire, the Pirates' two first-round choices in the 2013 Draft, headline seven Buccos prospects selected to participate in the 2015 Arizona Fall League season.

Meadows, the ninth overall pick in that '13 Draft, and McGuire, No. 14, are both finishing up the Minor League season with Class A Advanced Bradenton in the Florida State League. They will be joined on the roster of the Glendale Desert Dogs by two of the pitchers McGuire caught with the Marauders, left-hander Cody Dickson and righty Tyler Eppler.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

How the Pirates can overtake St. Louis

Beating NL Central opponents on the road will be key

How the Pirates can overtake St. Louis

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have been the best team in baseball over the past three months. But there are still a couple of mountains left for them to climb.

No progress was made toward scaling any peaks Tuesday night at Miller Park. Pirates ace Gerrit Cole, who came to this moment with a 2.44 ERA, was knocked around for four runs in the first inning by the fourth-place Brewers. The Brewers won, 7-4.

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

Pirates aim to spoil Davies' debut in Milwaukee

Pirates aim to spoil Davies' debut in Milwaukee

Zach Davies' first taste of the Major Leagues will come in a pennant race. The wiry Brewers right-hander -- called up Tuesday, when roster expanded -- will debut Wednesday night against a Pirates team pushing toward the postseason.

"I got a little bit of a chance in Spring Training to throw against a couple of their guys, but only an inning or two," said the 6-foot, 155-pound Davies, a former Orioles farmhand who remembered facing Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez and Jung Ho Kang in a Grapefruit League "B" game. "This will be a little bit different."

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hurdle's vote of confidence helped Polanco rebound

Outfielder has excelled since manager's assurance he would not be demoted

Hurdle's vote of confidence helped Polanco rebound

PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco wasn't worried, but he was wondering. It was early July, and he wasn't hitting. Polanco hadn't really hit in about a year, truth be told -- at least not the way he wanted to.

Was Polanco heading back to Triple-A Indianapolis?

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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' bats stifled by Rockies, De La Rosa

Bucs' bats stifled by Rockies, De La Rosa

PITTSBURGH -- The National League Wild Card-leading Pirates never got to left-hander Jorge De La Rosa -- only home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson did -- as they dropped a 5-0 decision to the Rockies on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park in front of 36,271.

De La Rosa (8-6) pitched six-plus scoreless innings, struck out seven and gave up four hits. Nelson ejected De La Rosa, while manager Walt Weiss was removing him after 93 pitches, for protesting his only walk -- a four-pitch job to Francisco Cervelli to put two on in the seventh.

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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.

Bastardo stays sharp with 2 strong innings

Pirates lefty records 5 strikeouts in late relief vs. Rockies

Bastardo stays sharp with 2 strong innings

PITTSBURGH -- One of the bright spots for the Pirates in Sunday's 5-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies was left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo, who tossed two scoreless innings and recorded five strikeouts.

"Our relievers have taken it to heart about keeping the game where it is," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "If they come in and it's tied, behind, ahead, trying to give the ball to the guy that comes in behind them in a better spot. Bastardo was able to spot up two innings for us today, make pitches. He struck out five, he was very effective, very efficient."

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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.

Burnett upbeat after 5-inning sim game

Veteran righty hoping for 3 MLB starts in regular season

Burnett upbeat after 5-inning sim game

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett, an established veteran who hasn't pitched since July 30 due to a right elbow injury, has said he expects to make at least three Major League starts before the end of the regular season. He took another step in that direction Sunday, tossing a simulated game in the bullpen at PNC Park prior to the Pirates' 5-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

He tossed five innings under the watchful eye of pitching coach Ray Searage.

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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.

Bucs adjust rotation, lining up Cole vs. Cards

Ace to face Brewers on Tuesday, close series in St. Louis

Bucs adjust rotation, lining up Cole vs. Cards

PITTSBURGH -- With the Pirates' scheduled off-day on Monday, manager Clint Hurdle has adjusted his pitching plans for the next two series against National League Central foes Milwaukee and St. Louis. The moves assure that ace right-hander Gerrit Cole will get a start against the division-leading Cardinals.

Cole will start the series opener in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, followed by lefty Jeff Locke on Wednesday and lefty Francisco Liriano on Thursday.

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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.

Aramis on RBI prowl since rejoining Bucs

Veteran slugger homers to spark offense against Rockies

Aramis on RBI prowl since rejoining Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Third baseman Aramis Ramirez's numbers are down since the Pirates acquired him from Milwaukee on July 23. In 81 games with the Brewers this season, Ramirez, 37, had an OPS of .725, still well below his career mark of .833. His OPS slipped to .629 in his first 28 games with the Pirates.

Ramirez, who has said he will retire after this season, launched a three-run homer in the first inning Saturday off Rockies lefty Chris Rusin, giving the Pirates a lead they would not relinquish in a 4-3 victory. Ramirez has 13 homers this year -- 11 of them with the Brewers.

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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.

Pirates toast 1960 World Series champs

Pirates toast 1960 World Series champs

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates honored the 1960 World Series championship team prior to Saturday night's game against the Colorado Rockies.

Pittsburgh defeated the New York Yankees in the Series, with Bill Mazeroski hitting the dramatic game-winning home run in the ninth inning of Game 7, giving the Pirates a 10-9 victory and their first championship since 1925.

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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.

Happ to it: Lefty bolstering Bucs' rotation

Southpaw has 1.98 ERA in 5 starts since joining Pirates

Happ to it: Lefty bolstering Bucs' rotation

PITTSBURGH -- Lefty J.A. Happ has given the Pirates' starting rotation a big shot in the arm since being acquired at the July 31 Trade Deadline from Seattle.

He turned in another solid effort Saturday night, holding the Rockies to one run on five hits through 5 2/3 innings in a 4-3 victory at PNC Park.

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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.

Ram shot: Early HR leads way past Rockies

Ram shot: Early HR leads way past Rockies

PITTSBURGH -- Aramis Ramirez's three-run, first-inning homer and J.A. Happ's solid 5 2/3 innings were all the Pirates needed in a 4-3 victory Saturday night at PNC Park. The second-place Pirates kept pace in the National League Central, remaining 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals.

Ramirez hit his 13th homer of the season, and second since arriving in a trade with the Brewers, after Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen singled with one out. Those were three of the five hits, and all of the runs, Pittsburgh managed against Rockies lefty Chris Rusin (4-7). But they were enough for the Pirates -- leading the NL Wild Card race -- to win their seventh in the last eight games and 10th in the last 12.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.