Kuhl returns to form, throws five scoreless

Kuhl returns to form, throws five scoreless

PITTSBURGH -- Searching for answers after two rough starts, Chad Kuhl turned to the past. He watched video from his best games -- "when I was good," Kuhl said. He worked on his delivery with pitching coach Ray Searage, focusing on keeping his upper body over his back leg, and looked to regain the downward angle on his sinker.

Kuhl also received some advice Saturday from bench coach Tom Prince that resonated in his mind as he pitched five scoreless innings in the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday at PNC Park.

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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.

Pirates score lone run on HBP in win vs. Phils

Pirates score lone run on HBP in win vs. Phils

PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Nola's worst pitch of the day came at the worst possible moment. After the Phillies decided to intentionally walk Josh Bell to load the bases with one out in the sixth, Nola hit David Freese in the back to bring home the only run in the Pirates' 1-0 win on a rainy Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

It was the first time a game's only run came on a hit-by-pitch since July 5, 1998, when Scott Erickson hit Chad Curtis in the third inning in the Yankees' 1-0 win over Orioles.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Pirates on Sunday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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

Cole faces Braves for second time in opener

Cole faces Braves for second time in opener

Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole has gotten the job done this season, but the Pirates lineup hasn't always been able to say the same when Cole is on the mound.

That changed when the Pirates pushed six runs across the plate against the Nationals in Cole's last start on Wednesday. The Pirates hope that trend continues when Cole (2-4, 2.84 ERA) takes the mound to open a four-game series against the Braves Monday night at the new SunTrust Park. Mike Foltynewicz (2-4, 4.10 ERA) will start for Atlanta.

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

Hayes notches three more hits for Marauders

Hayes notches three more hits for Marauders

Scott Kingery has found his power stroke.

The Phillies' No. 11 prospect hit a pair of solo homers, in the seventh and ninth innings, as part of a 4-for-5 day, but it was not enough for Double-A Reading as the Fightin Phils fell 8-7 to New Hampshire.

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

Pirates still seek clarity on Kang's situation

GM says club is working to gather the facts after court ruling

Pirates still seek clarity on Kang's situation

PITTSBURGH -- With a quarter of the season behind them, the Pirates are still without third baseman Jung Ho Kang, who remains in his native South Korea awaiting a work visa.

On Thursday, Kang lost his appeal of a suspended eight-month jail sentence following his third DUI charge since 2009. Pirates president Frank Coonelly said it was too soon to comment on the impact that ruling will have on Kang's chances of playing for the Pirates this season. General manager Neal Huntington echoed Coonelly's statement, saying Sunday the Bucs are still looking for clarity.

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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.

Bucs get behind Nova to take down Phillies

Bucs get behind Nova to take down Phillies

PITTSBURGH -- Ivan Nova turned in another lengthy start, David Freese tucked a go-ahead home run inside the left-field foul pole and Adam Frazier continued to sizzle atop the order, leading the Pirates to a 6-3 win over the Phillies on Saturday at PNC Park.

Nova held Philadelphia to three runs in 7 1/3 innings, recording 14 outs on the ground, and the Bucs' bats -- and some slick infield work, particularly by Freese and shortstop Jordy Mercer -- helped the right-hander pick up his first win since his shutout in Miami on April 29.

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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.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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

Frazier's bat draws high praise from Pirates

Frazier's bat draws high praise from Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- During a postgame television interview Saturday at PNC Park, David Freese made a prediction: If Adam Frazier gets enough at-bats, he'll win a batting title someday.

Frazier has given no evidence to support a contradicting argument. Since reaching the big leagues last June, all the utility man has done is hit. Frazier went 3-for-5 with two RBIs in the Pirates' 6-3 win over the Phillies, improving his batting line to .358/.402/.469 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.

Joe perfect at plate for Altoona

Joe perfect at plate for Altoona

Astros prospects Kyle Tucker and Jason Martin have been swinging hot bats lately, and the trend continued Saturday as the duo led Class A Advanced Buies Creek to an 8-2 win over Down East.

Tucker, ranked as the Astros' No. 2 prospect and 30th on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, and Martin (Astros' No. 26) combined for five hits and five RBIs as the Astros won for the fifth time in six games.

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

Lindblom lands on DL; Marinez joins Pirates

Lindblom lands on DL; Marinez joins Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have had their eyes on reliever Jhan Marinez for a while now, manager Clint Hurdle said. The right-hander throws a hard two-seam fastball and produces ground balls while pitching multiple innings, a trio of traits the Bucs value out of the bullpen.

For the Pirates to get the 28-year-old right-hander, he had to struggle. Marinez posted a 5.40 ERA and 2.04 WHIP for the Brewers in 15 appearances to start the season, so Milwaukee designated him for assignment on Monday. That made him available to the Pirates, who claimed Marinez off waivers on Friday and added him to their roster on Saturday.

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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.

Taillon attacking cancer like he does pitching

Following procedure for testicular cancer, righty carrying mental toughness from mound to recovery

Taillon attacking cancer like he does pitching

PITTSBURGH -- There is a mindset that defines Jameson Taillon's mental toughness as a pitcher. When runners get on base, his focus shifts away from how they got there to what he can do to stop them from scoring. He does not dwell on the past.

Taillon has carried the same mentality into his recovery following surgery for testicular cancer. The Pirates' right-hander spoke with the media Friday for the first time since he received the diagnosis, and he reported that he has received nothing but good news since undergoing the procedure on May 8.

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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.

Bell stays hot at plate in loss to Phillies

Bell stays hot at plate in loss to Phillies

PITTSBURGH -- Two batters into Friday night's series opener at PNC Park, Jeremy Hellickson had given up two hits and a run. Twenty-six batters later, the Pirates still had two hits. Hellickson gave the Phillies the kind of start they needed, throwing six strong innings in a 7-2 win over the Pirates.

In the first inning, Hellickson gave up a leadoff single to Josh Harrison and an RBI double to Josh Bell. The Pirates tacked on another run through an error, and Hellickson proceeded to retire 16 of the next 17 batters he faced. After throwing 31 pitches in the first, Hellickson needed only 53 to get through the next five innings. The only thing that forced him out of the game? An apparent injury while slugging an RBI double down the left-field line.

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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.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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

Williams grinds through start without slider

Hurdle impressed by right-hander's 5 2/3 innings against Phillies

Williams grinds through start without slider

PITTSBURGH -- Trevor Williams didn't have his slider for much of Friday night. How did he know? "It didn't slide," he said. Without his best swing-and-miss offspeed pitch, Williams set out to make the most of what he had by forcing the Phillies to put the ball in play.

But Williams fell victim to the often random nature of batted balls, allowing three runs over 5 2/3 innings in the Pirates' 7-2 loss to the Phillies at PNC Park. Pittsburgh only mustered three hits on the night, none of them between the first and ninth innings, so Williams was dealt his third loss of the 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.

Bucs claim Marinez off waivers from Brewers

Right-hander had 3.18 ERA in 46 appearances in 2016 for Milwaukee

Bucs claim Marinez off waivers from Brewers

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates claimed reliever Jhan Marinez off waivers from the Brewers on Friday, adding a big arm to their bullpen.

Marinez, 28, was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Monday. The right-hander has put together a 5.40 ERA in 16 2/3 innings over 15 appearances this season, but he is coming off a strong 2016 season in which he posted a 3.18 ERA in 62 1/3 innings over 46 outings, three of which came early in the year with the Rays.

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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.

Bucs pile on, cruise past Nats to take series

Bucs pile on, cruise past Nats to take series

PITTSBURGH -- With a struggling, depleted bullpen, the Nationals needed innings from Tanner Roark on Thursday at PNC Park. He got through five, but the Pirates powered past him and a trio of relievers and won the series finale, 10-4.

The Pirates racked up 13 hits, including three from leadoff man Adam Frazier and two from Andrew McCutchen, as they cruised to a series victory. After losing six straight last week, the Bucs have won four of their last five games.

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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.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Thursday.

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

Jaso breaks out with catalyzing performance

Dealing with slump, Bucs outfielder draws bases-loaded walk and homers

Jaso breaks out with catalyzing performance

PITTSBURGH -- Like a handful of other Pirates hitters this season, John Jaso has felt better than he's often looked this season. Certainly better than his numbers look, at least.

After walking four times over the past two days and drilling a go-ahead home run to center field in Thursday's 10-4 win over the Nationals at PNC Park, there may be reason to believe Jaso is ready to put a rough start behind him.

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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.

Kang reportedly loses appeal of DUI sentence

Court's decision casts further doubt about return to Pirates

Kang reportedly loses appeal of DUI sentence

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang reportedly lost his appeal of a suspended eight-month jail sentence following his December arrest for driving under the influence, casting further doubt at to whether he will play in the Major Leagues this season.

According to a Yonhap News report, the Seoul Central District Court denied Kang's appeal on Thursday and upheld his sentence, which is suspended for two years, after he fled the scene of a drunk-driving accident in early December.

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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.

Bell adds glovework to improved pop at plate

Not yet a nine-inning defender, rookie feels more comfortable at first

Bell adds glovework to improved pop at plate

PITTSBURGH -- When he reached the Majors last year, there were two questions about Josh Bell: Would the high-average hitter show more home-run power? How would the former outfielder handle himself at first base?

All Bell has done this season is lead the Pirates in home runs and quickly emerge as a steady defender. Entering Thursday's series finale against the Nationals at PNC Park, Bell had eight homers, a .500 slugging percentage, only one error and two Defensive Runs Saved -- behind only David Freese and Josh Harrison among all Pirates players.

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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.

Bell, Cole lift Pirates past Nationals

Bell, Cole lift Pirates past Nationals

PITTSBURGH -- Backed by rare run support and strong defense, Gerrit Cole held the high-powered Nationals offense to a season-low three hits over seven innings and led the Pirates to a 6-1 win at PNC Park on Wednesday night.

After an injury-filled season a year ago, Cole has seemingly discovered his top form. The right-hander has been charged with two earned runs or fewer in each of his last seven starts, and his ERA has dropped to 2.84 after Wednesday night's performance. Cole struck out three hitters as he efficiently worked seven innings on 98 pitches, but he effectively shut down the Majors' highest-scoring lineup.

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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.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Wednesday.

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

Cutch grabs two hits, stolen bags in big night

Cutch grabs two hits, stolen bags in big night

PITTSBURGH -- With nobody covering the bag, Andrew McCutchen swiped third base in the sixth inning and scored on Josh Bell's home run. An inning later, he stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly, the final run in the Pirates' 6-1 win over the Nationals.

It was McCutchen's first multiple-steal game since July 10, 2014. McCutchen was on first base four times Wednesday night -- twice on a fielder's choice and twice following a pair of hits. Why so aggressive on the basepaths? That might have had more to do with it being McCutchen's first multi-hit game since April 28.

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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.

After surgery, tests reveal cancer for Taillon

After surgery, tests reveal cancer for Taillon

PITTSBURGH -- Following surgery last week, Jameson Taillon's pathology report came back positive for testicular cancer. The Pirates right-hander will be re-evaluated by doctors and surgeons next week, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday, but he has been cleared for light baseball activities.

After Taillon informed the Pirates medical staff of an abnormality, he consulted with Dr. John C. Lyne, who performed surgery on May 8 at Allegheny General Hospital. Taillon has reported to PNC Park the last two days, playing catch and performing some cardiovascular exercises.

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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.

Moroff, Wood each homer twice

Moroff, Wood each homer twice

J.P. Crawford collected a season-high three hits on Wednesday, though none were bigger than the Phillies' top prospect's go-ahead two-run single in the top of the 11th inning that propelled Triple-A Lehigh Valley to its 12th straight victory.

Crawford, MLB Pipeline's No. 4 overall prospect, drove in a run with each of his three knocks, tallying RBI singles in his first two at-bats before coming through in extra innings and finishing with four RBIs (also a season-high) in the IronPigs' 11-8 win over Rochester.

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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.

Polanco placed on DL with strained hamstring

Outfielder Ortiz called up in corresponding move

Polanco placed on DL with strained hamstring

PITTSBURGH -- Just when they were getting back to full strength, the Pirates had to put right fielder Gregory Polanco on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday due to a strained left hamstring.

The assignment is retroactive to Monday. Polanco left Sunday's game in Arizona early after feeling his hamstring tighten up following a long run to track down a fly ball in the third inning. His discomfort was obvious in his next at-bat, and he was removed from the game after that.

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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.

Harrison shows off power, acrobatic skills

Harrison shows off power, acrobatic skills

PITTSBURGH -- Hitting a home run and avoiding a tag however possible, Josh Harrison brought back fond memories of his breakout 2014 season in the Pirates' 8-4 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday at PNC Park.

Harrison homered off Nats right-hander Stephen Strasburg in the first inning, turning on a 2-2 changeup and pulling it over the left-field fence. His sixth homer of the season traveled a Statcast-projected 376 feet with an exit velocity of 96.4 mph and a 37-degree launch angle.

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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.

Pirates can't overcome early deficit vs. Nats

Pirates can't overcome early deficit vs. Nats

PITTSBURGH -- After right-hander Blake Treinen put out a fire in the seventh inning, Bryce Harper scorched another home run to put the game away. Harper's 13th home run of the season eased a potentially stressful situation for the Nationals' bullpen and sealed an 8-4 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

"We're still in the process of trying to figure it out and get it together, but in the meantime, our offense is doing the job," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "That was a huge home run that Harp hit, because that made a two-run game into a four-run game, and as you see, they could have had the tying runs on base had he not hit that."

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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.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Nationals on Tuesday.

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