Taillon expected to headline September callups

Taillon expected to headline September callups

CHICAGO -- The Pirates' clubhouse could be a little bit more crowded when they return to PNC Park on Friday.

Major League active rosters expand from 25 to 40 players on Thursday, an off-day for the Bucs, but expect to see a few familiar faces back with the club when they open a three-game series against the Brewers on Friday. The Pirates will use the added roster flexibility to bolster the club with role players and young arms.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Meadows among Bucs headed to Fall League

Seven Pirates prospects to play for Surprise Saguaros

Meadows among Bucs headed to Fall League

CHICAGO -- The Arizona Fall League rosters were unveiled on Wednesday. The Pirates will send seven prospects to play for the Surprise Saguaros when the season begins Oct. 11.

Pittsburgh's most notable selection is outfielder Austin Meadows, the club's No. 2 prospect and baseball's ninth-best overall, according to MLBPipeline.com.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates add Minor League lefty Phillips in deal with O's

Pirates add Minor League lefty Phillips in deal with O's

CHICAGO -- The Pirates acquired left-hander Zach Phillips from the Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for lefty Kyle Lobstein.

Phillips, 29, was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis. He was not placed on Pittsburgh's 40-man roster. Lobstein had been designated for assignment Tuesday to make room for left-hander Kelvin Marte.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates left waiting against MLB ERA leader

Hurdle tips cap to Hendricks, compares him to Maddux

Pirates left waiting against MLB ERA leader

CHICAGO -- After a wild, action-packed series opener at Wrigley Field on Monday, the Pirates spent most of Tuesday night waiting.

They waited for Kyle Hendricks to leave a pitch up in the zone. Waited for one of their two-out hits to start a rally. Waited for something to find a gap or grass. But none of it ever came to be, so the Pirates were dealt their second straight loss, a 3-0 defeat that was largely a credit to Hendricks, the Major League ERA leader.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs' offense cooled off by Cubs' Hendricks

Bucs' offense cooled off by Cubs' Hendricks

CHICAGO -- You watch Kyle Hendricks pitch, and wonder how the heck he gets hitters out. He doesn't throw 99 mph -- he barely hits 90 -- and he doesn't have a funky delivery. As Greg Maddux would say, a pitcher's best pitch is a well-located fastball, and Hendricks relies on that, even if it isn't very fast.

On Tuesday night, Hendricks befuddled the Pirates, holding them to three hits over seven innings, and got all the offense he needed thanks to Anthony Rizzo's two-run homer off Pittsburgh's Chad Kuhl as the Cubs posted a 3-0 win. With his outing, Hendricks lowered his ERA to 2.09, tops in the Major Leagues. No Cub has led the National League in era since 1945 or MLB since 1938.

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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.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

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

Cole confident he will return this season

Pirates ace relieved no ligament damage in elbow diagnosis

Cole confident he will return this season

CHICAGO -- Gerrit Cole had barely heard the end of the question when he responded, leaving little doubt about his plans for the rest of the season. Will he pitch again this year?

"Yes," he answered immediately and firmly, easing some concerns about the sore right elbow that sent him to the 15-day disabled list on Monday. The Pirates' ace right-hander resumed playing catch at Wrigley Field on Tuesday afternoon, the start of his progression back to the mound.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates call up Hanson, K. Marte for depth

Taillon, Brault optioned for roster space, can return Friday

Pirates call up Hanson, K. Marte for depth

CHICAGO -- About 30 minutes before first pitch at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, the Pirates made a series of roster moves to deepen their bench and bullpen.

The Pirates recalled infielder Alen Hanson and selected the contract of left-hander Kelvin Marte from Triple-A Indianapolis. To make room on the active roster, Pittsburgh optioned starters Jameson Taillon and Steven Brault to Rookie-level Bristol, a paper move so they can return Friday.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Bucs making push with 'next guy up' mentality

Bucs making push with 'next guy up' mentality

CHICAGO -- On the day they lost a 13-inning thriller to the division-rival Cubs, the Pirates also placed staff ace Gerrit Cole on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Such adversity has been a staple of their season. Would you believe the Bucs now have zero active starters who were in their season-opening starting five?

It has been a lost year for Cole, a down year for Andrew McCutchen, a year in which the Pirates dealt Francisco Liriano, their Opening Day starter, and Mark Melancon, their dependable closer, at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and a year that has been more about transition than triumph.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Keller, Meadows among top prospect performers Tuesday

Pair of Pirates players shine in impressive outings

Keller, Meadows among top prospect performers Tuesday

Mitch Keller may have moved up a level, but the results stayed the same.

Keller made his debut with Class A Advanced Bradenton and led the club to a 8-1 win over Jupiter on Tuesday.

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

Bucs prospects Ngoepe, Neverauskas suspended after fight

CHICAGO -- Pirates Minor Leaguers Gift Ngoepe and Dovydas Neverauskas were arrested early Sunday morning following a fight outside a bar in Toledo, Ohio, according to documents provided by the Toledo Municipal Court and Toledo Police Department.

Neither player has played since the incident took place. The Pirates announced on Tuesday that they suspended both players for seven days, keeping them off Triple-A Indianapolis' roster the rest of the season.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Unlucky 13th stings Bucs on wild night at Wrigley

Unlucky 13th stings Bucs on wild night at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- For five hours, Miguel Montero sat on the Cubs bench, watching a seesaw battle against the Pirates at Wrigley Field. The veteran catcher has been relegated to a backup role with the emergence of rookie Willson Contreras, but Montero showed his expertise in the 13th inning.

Anthony Rizzo delivered a game-tying RBI single in the 13th and Montero followed with the game-winning hit, a walk-off RBI single to lift the Cubs to an 8-7 victory over the Pirates in a game that began Monday night and stretched into Tuesday morning.

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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.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

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

Polanco, Bell hit oppo shots against Arrieta

Polanco, Bell hit oppo shots against Arrieta

CHICAGO -- Manager Clint Hurdle often repeats one of the Pirates' principal hitting philosophies, something taught throughout the Minor League level and encouraged in the Majors. It sounds simple, but it's proven to be easier said than done. Hit the ball hard where it's pitched.

Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco did just that Monday night, giving the Pirates a chance against nemesis Jake Arrieta in a game the Cubs rallied to win, 8-7, in 13 innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates twice snub Cubs' Baez at plate

Double play in 10th stands after review; Marte's rocket throw ends 12th

Pirates twice snub Cubs' Baez at plate

CHICAGO -- The Pirates couldn't keep the Cubs away from home plate all night, not after both clock hands on the Wrigley Field scoreboard pointed straight up and Monday gave way to Tuesday. But for a while, it seemed like they might.

Twice in extra innings, Pittsburgh managed to keep Javier Baez from scoring what would have been the game-winning run on a play at the plate. But it wasn't enough, as the Cubs eventually stormed back to win, 8-7, in 13 innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs put Cole on DL with elbow inflammation

Pirates ace eligible to return Sept. 9; Brault recalled

Bucs put Cole on DL with elbow inflammation

CHICAGO -- The Pirates will begin the final month of the regular season without their ace.

Gerrit Cole was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday due to posterior inflammation in his right elbow, the club announced. The assignment was made retroactive to Thursday, so Cole is eligible to return on Sept. 9.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates see rally thwarted with odd rundown

Cubs turn 1-5-2-6-1 rundown on result confirmed by replay

Pirates see rally thwarted with odd rundown

CHICAGO -- The Pirates saw a rare scoring opportunity against Jake Arrieta go to waste on an unusual rundown in the fifth inning Monday night at Wrigley Field in a game the Cubs rallied to win, 8-7, in 13 innings.

Starling Marte slapped a leadoff single to right field off Arrieta then stole second base, his 45th steal of the season. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras' errant throw sailed into center field, allowing Marte to scramble all the way to third.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kang sent to Indianapolis for continued rehab

Pirates Notebook: Glasnow activated, sent to Triple-A; Kingham sharp at Double-A

Kang sent to Indianapolis for continued rehab

CHICAGO -- Third baseman Jung Ho Kang flew with the Pirates from Milwaukee to Chicago, but he won't be working out at Wrigley Field this week.

Kang traveled Monday to Indianapolis, where he will continue his rehab workouts with the Pirates' Triple-A club. Kang is on the 15-day disabled list with an injured left shoulder, and he is not eligible to return until Sunday at the earliest.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Bullpen helping Bucs in Wild Card chase

Bullpen helping Bucs in Wild Card chase

MILWAUKEE -- The Pirates turned their Miller Park experience all the way around; from consistent defeat to daily victory.

After losing nine straight here, not to mention 64 of 81 over the past 10 seasons, the Bucs swept a four-game series, finishing the job with a 3-1 victory on Sunday. In the process, they moved to one-half game back of the Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card berth.

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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.

Nova superb in fourth Bucs victory

Starter allowed one run over six frames, exited due to hamstring discomfort

Nova superb in fourth Bucs victory

MILWAUKEE -- A change of scenery -- and a move to the National League -- has done Ivan Nova a world of good.

Before exiting with left hamstring discomfort, Nova threw six strong innings to help the Pirates move to one-half game back of the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot by completing a four-game sweep of the Brewers with a 3-1 victory Sunday.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen of the Week: 'Pen has Bucs knocking

Pirates relievers push team to NL Wild Card doorstep

Bullpen of the Week: 'Pen has Bucs knocking

When Pirates closer Mark Melancon was traded to the Nationals nearly a month ago, Bucs fans could be forgiven for worrying if the remaining members of the team's bullpen would be able to adjust over the stretch run.

So far, so good. The Bucs have gone 15-10 in August, including 5-2 over the past week, and are on a Major League-high four-game winning streak heading into Monday's action. The Pirates are just a half-game behind the Cardinals in the chase for the last National League Wild Card spot as they begin a big series against the Cubs tonight in Chicago.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs sweep Crew, pull within half-game of WC

Bucs sweep Crew, pull within half-game of WC

MILWAUKEE -- Right on schedule, here come the Pirates.

John Jaso and Gregory Polanco hit solo home runs in a go-ahead sixth inning Sunday, and Starling Marte added an insurance shot in the eighth as Ivan Nova and charging Pittsburgh finished a four-game sweep of Milwaukee with a 3-1 win at Miller Park.

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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.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Pirates on Sunday.

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

Pirates bolster bullpen, recall righty Schugel

Infielder Frazier optioned to rookie-level Bristol

Pirates bolster bullpen, recall righty Schugel

MILWAUKEE -- The Pittsburgh Pirates added an extra bullpen arm prior to Sunday's game in Milwaukee, recalling right-hander A.J. Schugel from Triple-A Indianapolis.

To clear room for Schugel, infielder Adam Frazier was optioned to rookie-level Bristol.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Bauman: Pirates step up amid Cole news

Bauman: Pirates step up amid Cole news

MILWAUKEE -- Ordinarily, a three-game winning streak for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park would be cause for unrestrained rejoicing.

The Pirates on Saturday night won their third straight in Milwaukee; a 9-6 victory over the Brewers that included a comeback from a four-run deficit. But another development made this a less than ecstatic evening for the Bucs.

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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.

Bucs keep it in the park, outslug Crew in win

Bucs keep it in the park, outslug Crew in win

MILWAUKEE -- In a game of big innings, it was the Pirates who hung the last crooked number on the scoreboard Saturday night.

Gregory Polanco came off the bench to hit a tiebreaking, three-run double in the sixth for a 9-6 win over the Brewers at Miller Park, where Pirates starter Jameson Taillon was not the only pitcher to struggle. He surrendered five earned runs in three innings for his worst start this season, but six different Pirates batters drove in at least one run as Pittsburgh pulled to within 1 1/2 games of St. Louis in the race for the second National League 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.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Pirates on Saturday.

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

Polanco's pinch-hit 2B snaps skid at Miller Park

Polanco's pinch-hit 2B snaps skid at Miller Park

MILWAUKEE -- Miller Park has been a house of horrors for many of Pittsburgh's top hitters, including Gregory Polanco.

Given a blow from the starting lineup Saturday after consecutive 0-for-5 games dropped his career batting average to .138 (8-for-58) in Milwaukee, Polanco delivered a pinch-hit, bases-clearing double in the sixth inning to lift the Pirates to a 9-6 win.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Taillon on Perez: 'He's a Latin Babe Ruth'

Brewers' slugger now 5-for-7 with 3 HRs against Pirates' pitcher

Taillon on Perez: 'He's a Latin Babe Ruth'

MILWAUKEE -- "He's a Latin Babe Ruth or something like that," Pirates rookie Jameson Taillon said of the Brewers' Hernan Perez, laughing about a respectful rivalry that has swung wildly of late in the Nuevo Bambino's favor.

Perez homered twice and drove in four runs against Taillon in the first three innings of the Pirates' 9-6 win over the Brewers at Miller Park on Saturday. The Pirates rallied back from a 5-1 deficit to win the game, but not before Perez improved to 5-for-7 in the Majors against Taillon with three home runs.

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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.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Pirates on Saturday.

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

On eve of birthday, Bucs' Mercer hits 1st slam

Shortstop breaks game open with blast in five-run sixth

On eve of birthday, Bucs' Mercer hits 1st slam

MILWAUKEE -- Before Friday's game against the Brewers, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle directed a short lesson on two-strike hitting to reporters gathered in his office. Shortstop Jordy Mercer was not in attendance, but he must have gotten the lecture notes from somebody.

Mercer launched his first career grand slam on an 0-2 slider against Matt Garza to vault the Pirates to a five-run lead in an eventual 5-3 win at Miller Park.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Vogelsong rewriting ending to Pirates career

Vogelsong rewriting ending to Pirates career

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Vogelsong, coming back from his latest bout of adversity, continues to provide baseball with an uplifting story. More to the current point, he is providing the Pittsburgh Pirates with outs.

Vogelsong was the winning pitcher Friday night as the Pirates defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-3. Over 5 1/3 innings, Vogelsong gave up two runs, both of which scored after he left the game. The Pirates, who had lost nine straight at Miller Park, have now won two in a row in Milwaukee.

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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.

Hurdle once had to comfort Pirate about hotel ghost

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Hurdle once had to comfort Pirate about hotel ghost

Heading into Thursday night's game against the Brewers, the Pirates had lost nine straight at Miller Park. Plenty of reasons were given for the skid: the difficulty of winning on the road against a division rival, the flukiness of a nine-game sample, the magic of Hank the Ballpark Pup.

But perhaps we've been looking in the wrong place. Perhaps such an improbable streak is the work of something ... supernatural. Every time the Pirates come to Milwaukee, it turns out, they stay in the legendary Pfister Hotel -- one of the most famous hotels in America and, according to legend, also one of the most haunted

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