Glasnow closes season with encouraging start

Pirates' top prospect underperformed in 2016, but allowed one hit in final outing

Glasnow closes season with encouraging start

ST. LOUIS -- The pitcher's mound stands 10 inches higher than home plate, and Tyler Glasnow towers another 6 feet and 8 inches above that. So sometimes he needs to be reminded: With his big frame and long limbs, he's already tall enough.

So Glasnow, looking to cap a frustrating season with a positive finish, focused on shortening up his delivery Friday night. The end result was perhaps Glasnow's most encouraging appearance in the Major Leagues, as he held the Cards to one run on one hit -- Jedd Gyorko's home run -- over five mostly efficient innings in the Pirates' 7-0 loss at Busch Stadium.

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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.

In spoiler role, Bucs motivated by strong finish

Club conducts extensive exit interviews; Pittsburgh BBWAA chapter hands out awards

In spoiler role, Bucs motivated by strong finish

ST. LOUIS -- Even with the postseason out of the question and the offseason only three days away, manager Clint Hurdle isn't worried about the Pirates kicking up their feet and taking it easy this weekend.

The Pirates have a chance to directly affect the National League Wild Card race as they wrap up the regular season with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. After the Bucs fell, 7-0, on Friday night, the Cards remained one game behind the Giants for the second NL Wild Card spot. But with two games remaining, a Bucs win combined with a Giants win on Saturday would eliminate the Cards from the postseason.

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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.

Glasnow battles, but rival Cardinals fly away

Glasnow battles, but rival Cardinals fly away

ST. LOUIS -- With an inspired start by Carlos Martinez and a flood of production against the Pirates' bullpen, the Cardinals asserted their place in the National League Wild Card race with a 7-0 victory at Busch Stadium on Friday night.

With two games remaining in the regular season, the win kept pressure on the Giants, who held their one-game lead over the Cards for the second Wild Card spot after beating the Dodgers later in the evening. The Mets lead the Giants by one for the top Wild Card spot.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her 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.

Cubs-Pirates game suspended, ends in tie

Rare result the Major Leagues' first tie game since 2005 in Cincinnati

Cubs-Pirates game suspended, ends in tie

PITTSBURGH -- As the Pirates and Cubs discovered Thursday night, there is tying in baseball. Their series finale at PNC Park was suspended and declared a 1-1 tie after being delayed by rain in the top of the sixth inning.

The tie game, the Majors' first since 2005, will not be reflected in either club's record. Major League Baseball deemed the suspended game to be a tie because it won't be completed before the end of the regular season on Sunday and won't affect either team in the standings.

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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, Bucs look ahead after fine rookie season

Righty wraps up campaign with 3.38 ERA after solid six-inning start vs. Cubs

Taillon, Bucs look ahead after fine rookie season

PITTSBURGH -- This time last year, Jameson Taillon was pitching in his sixth straight tour of the Florida Instructional League, the "chain-link league," so nicknamed for the fences that surround back fields like those behind the Pirates' training complex in Bradenton, Fla.

On Wednesday night, Taillon wrapped up an impressive debut season in the Major Leagues, pitching six innings of one-hit, one-run ball against baseball's best team in the Pirates' 8-4 win over the Cubs 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.

Nova has solid final start, wants to stay with Bucs

Nova has solid final start, wants to stay with Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Ivan Nova's season came to an unlikely end Thursday night at PNC Park, with a 5 1/3-inning complete game in a 1-1 tie with the Cubs in the Bucs' home finale.

Was it the last start Nova, a pending free agent, will make for the Pirates?

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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.

A photo finish in the Pirates' Pierogi Race

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A photo finish in the Pirates' Pierogi Race

Instant replay was badly needed during Thursday night's rain-shortened 1-1 tie between the Pirates and Cubs, but this was far from your standard baseball replay. During the middle of the game, PNC Park held its traditional Pierogi Race and it featured quite the remarkable finish.

The final Pierogi Race of the 2016 season turned into a two-way contest between Sauerkraut Saul (red hat) and Cheese Chester (yellow hat) after Saul shoved poor Bacon Burt out of the way. Saul and Chester were neck-and-neck for the final steps and then, well, see for yourself:

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Jaso hits for first cycle in PNC Park history

Pirates first baseman becomes second player to notch cycle, catch perfect game

Jaso hits for first cycle in PNC Park history

PITTSBURGH -- John Jaso slid into third base, popped up quickly, took two slow steps back toward the bag and looked over at third-base coach Rick Sofield. That's when it hit him: He saved the hardest part for last, but he just hit for the cycle.

"I was just hoping they were going to give it to me," Jaso said.

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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.

Jaso's cycle leads Pirates past Arrieta, Cubs

Jaso's cycle leads Pirates past Arrieta, Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- Nearly a year ago, Jake Arrieta crushed the Pirates' postseason hopes before they could truly begin, tossing a shutout in the Cubs' National League Wild Card Game victory. On Wednesday night, John Jaso led Pittsburgh's recent revenge tour against the Cubs right-hander, hitting for the first cycle in PNC Park history as the Bucs scored seven runs off Arrieta in an 8-4 win.

"It's just a great memory to have," Jaso said.

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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.

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.

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

Pirates to play Blue Jays in Montreal next spring

Pirates to play Blue Jays in Montreal next spring

PITTSBURGH -- For the fourth straight year, there will be Major League Baseball in Montreal. This time, the Pirates are getting in on the action.

The Pirates will wrap up Spring Training next year with a pair of exhibition games against the Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium north of the border. The clubs are scheduled to play Friday, March 31, at 7:05 p.m. ET and Saturday, April 1, at 1:05 p.m.

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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.

Has anyone with hair as wonderful as Jaso's ever hit for the cycle?

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Has anyone with hair as wonderful as Jaso's ever hit for the cycle?

John Jaso hit for the cycle during Wednesday's Cubs-Pirates game. It was the third cycle of the season, the first by a Pirates player since Daryle Ward in 2004 and the first such occurence in PNC Park history. He went single, homer, double and triple -- all by the seventh inning. Check out all of his swings below.

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Out of race, Pirates to play young players

Out of race, Pirates to play young players

PITTSBURGH -- With the Pirates officially eliminated from the postseason race, expect them to pivot away from a few banged-up regulars with an eye on the future.

The Bucs were mathematically bounced out of the National League Wild Card race late Tuesday night after losing to the Cubs and waking up to find the Giants had beaten the Rockies in San Francisco. Their younger players have seen the field quite a bit over the last two months, so there won't be many dramatic changes over the final 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs officially eliminated, but will keep moving forward

Bucs officially eliminated, but will keep moving forward

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates began the season with postseason expectations and championship aspirations. They want to play meaningful games in September and playoff baseball in October, as general manager Neal Huntington has often said.

But that dream officially ended late Tuesday night, when the Pirates lost their fourth straight game, a 6-4 defeat to the Cubs, and the Giants beat the Rockies, 12-3, in San Francisco. The combination of those two outcomes left Pittsburgh mathematically eliminated from the postseason race.

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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' 9th-inning rally falls short vs. Cubs

Pirates' 9th-inning rally falls short vs. Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- Realistically, the Cubs have little left to play for this week. With a 100-win season and the best record in the Majors secured, their sights are now set on the month to come. But still, the Cubs continued their roll into October on Tuesday night at PNC Park, beating the Pirates, 6-4, for their third straight win.

The Pirates' fourth straight loss put them on the brink of mathematical elimination from the National League Wild Card race, dropping their elimination number to one, and the Giants finished the job late Tuesday night at AT&T Park, as their 12-3 win over the Rockies officially put Pittsburgh out of the running.

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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.

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.

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

Phillips auditioning for '17 bullpen role

Lefty reliever making good first impression with Pirates after being acquired from Orioles

Phillips auditioning for '17 bullpen role

PITTSBURGH -- Zach Phillips hadn't pitched in the Majors since 2013 when the Pirates called him up in Philadelphia two weeks ago. But the Bucs didn't hesitate to throw him into their bullpen -- or into the fire.

In Monday night's 12-2 loss to the Cubs, the 30-year-old lefty reliever entered the game with nobody out and the bases loaded in the fourth inning. He was tasked with facing Anthony Rizzo, one of the Cubs' two National League Most Valuable Player Award candidates, and struck him out on four pitches, burying a slider below the strike zone for the final whiff.

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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.

Cutch on Cubs, competing, core-group strength

Cutch on Cubs, competing, core-group strength

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have dealt with a number of issues this year: a rash of injuries, a challenging schedule, a slew of disappointing performances. But their biggest problem, in the short and long term, just might be the Cubs.

The Bucs were blown out Monday night, 12-2, to open a four-game series at PNC Park. They have lost 13 of 16 matchups with the Cubs this season, and they have been outscored, 103-60, in those 16 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solo shots too little, too late in Bucs' loss

Solo shots too little, too late in Bucs' loss

PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs won their 100th game of the season Monday night the same way they checked off the first 99 -- with dominant starting pitching and an overpowering offensive attack. Javier Baez hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs, Kyle Hendricks lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.99 and the Cubs rolled over the Pirates, 12-2, at PNC Park.

"It's not too often you get this much talent in one room on one team," said Kris Bryant, who celebrated the 100th win by driving in his 100th and 101st RBIs on a two-run homer. "We need to realize what we have here and be grateful for it. I couldn't have pictured a better first two years in the big leagues."

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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.

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.

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

Kang's late power surge bodes well for 2017

Kang's late power surge bodes well for 2017

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates weren't expecting Jung Ho Kang to be himself this season. Coming back from a serious injury to his left knee and major surgery to repair it, the thinking went that Kang would have to wait until 2017 to regain his full strength.

The way Kang has hit this season, that may not be the case. Or perhaps his performance in 2016 indicates that he's due for an even bigger season next year.

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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 strike deal for Nats prospect Bostick

Infielder will go to Pittsburgh in exchange for Gushue, cash

Bucs strike deal for Nats prospect Bostick

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates added another versatile Minor League infielder to their system Monday afternoon, acquiring prospect Chris Bostick from the Nationals for catcher Taylor Gushue and cash considerations.

Bostick, 23, hit a combined .250/.313/.386 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs in 135 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season. Rated as the Nationals' No. 30 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, Bostick will not join the Pirates over the final week of the season, but he will hold down a spot on their 40-man roster.

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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' WC chances take hit in loss to Nats

Bucs' WC chances take hit in loss to Nats

PITTSBURGH -- There was a lot of pushing and shoving behind home plate in the third inning of the Nationals and Pirates' series finale Sunday afternoon at PNC Park. Plenty of give-and-take on the scoreboard, too. The Pirates pushed, but the Nats pushed back with a five-run eighth inning, pulling out a 10-7 win in the back-and-forth, four-hour affair.

The Pirates and Nats combined to use 17 pitchers, one shy of the Major League record for a nine-inning game. In total, 45 different players took the field, tying the NL record and falling one short of matching the Major League high for a nine-inning game.

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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.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

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

Pirates, Hurdle mourn loss of 'wonderful' Fernandez

Skipper remembers Marlins' ace for enthusiasm, emotion and skill

Pirates, Hurdle mourn loss of 'wonderful' Fernandez

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates joined the rest of the baseball world Sunday in mourning the tragic loss of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, one of the game's brightest young stars and most infectiously energetic personalities.

Fernandez died early Sunday in a boating accident in Miami Beach. He was 24.

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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.

Tempers flare in Pittsburgh after deke, near-HBP

Nats starter Cole's ejection prompts benches-clearing fracas

Tempers flare in Pittsburgh after deke, near-HBP

PITTSBURGH -- The Nationals believed it was unnecessary and wrong. The Pirates thought it was typical and crafty. Their disagreement over Jung Ho Kang's fake tag on Bryce Harper ended with both dugouts and bullpens emptying onto the field, sparking a benches-clearing incident in the third inning of Washington's 10-7 win Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

Tempers began to boil in the top of the third, when Bryce Harper laced a line drive to right field. He stretched the hit into a triple, hustling to third base even as right fielder Josh Bell's throw sailed wide of Kang. But Kang faked a tag, leading Harper to make an awkward slide into the bag.

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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.

As Nats clinch, young Bucs gain key experience

As Nats clinch, young Bucs gain key experience

PITTSBURGH -- The last three years, the Pirates reported to work on Sept. 24 with a spot in the postseason secured. They clinched on Sept. 23, 2013, did so again on Sept. 23, 2014, and once more on Sept. 23, 2015.

This year, the Pirates showed up on Sept. 24 and watched another team clinch a division title. The Bucs lost to the Nationals, 6-1, at PNC Park on Saturday night, and a few minutes later the Nats began celebrating their third National League East title in the last five years.

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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.

Sloppy play hurts as Pirates fall back to .500

Sloppy play hurts as Pirates fall back to .500

PITTSBURGH -- What felt inevitable all spring and summer became official Saturday night. For the third time in five years, the Nationals are National League East champions.

The Nats beat the Pirates, 6-1, then waited 23 minutes until the Mets' 10-8 loss to the Phillies in New York, which officially clinched the division title and punched Washington's postseason ticket. Then the celebration was on.

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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.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

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

Glasnow hopes to take 'pen lessons into rotation

Pirates liked top prospect's mentality in relief, and now he'll be back to starting Sunday

Glasnow hopes to take 'pen lessons into rotation

PITTSBURGH -- Tyler Glasnow did his time in the bullpen. Now he's moving back into the Pirates' rotation.

The Pirates' top prospect will start Sunday's series finale against the Nationals at PNC Park, replacing left-hander Steven Brault, in his first big league start since July 23. Pittsburgh hopes that Glasnow's brief stint as a reliever will serve him well as he returns to a starting role. Brault moved out of the rotation and into the Bucs' bullpen 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Howe reflects on his 7 trips to the postseason

Q&A: Howe reflects on his 7 trips to the postseason

Art Howe came out of the University of Wyoming figuring his dreams of becoming a professional athlete weren't going to come true. He returned home to Pittsburgh, went to work and played baseball in weekend leagues for the fun of it.

Then, at the age of 24, a Pirates scout saw enough of Howe to offer him a contract, and his dream came true.

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

Pirates solve Melancon, walk off in 11 on Stallings' hit

Pirates solve Melancon, walk off in 11 on Stallings' hit

PITTSBURGH -- With the champagne chilling and their clubhouse prepared for a celebration, the Nationals couldn't seal the deal Friday night at PNC Park. About an hour after the Mets put the Nats' division-clinching party on hold in New York, the Pirates kept Washington from officially punching its ticket to the postseason. The Bucs cracked Mark Melancon, their former closer, then little-used September callup Jacob Stallings slapped a pinch-hit, walk-off single to left field in the 11th inning to cap a 6-5 comeback win over the Nats.

Stallings was the last man on the Pirates' bench, the 25th different Pittsburgh player used in the four-hour, 36-minute marathon. He had done the math earlier in the 11th inning, coming to the conclusion that the only way he'd hit -- the only way he'd see a big league field for the first time since June 21 -- was with the bases loaded and two outs. That situation presented itself against Yusmeiro Petit, and Stallings delivered his second Major League hit over Anthony Rendon's head.

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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.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

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

Polanco runs into wall, bruises face

Hurdle unsure if Bucs outfielder will play Saturday

Polanco runs into wall, bruises face

PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco left the Pirates' 6-5, 11-inning win over the Nationals in the first inning on Friday night with a left facial contusion after slamming face-first into the left-field wall, the team announced.

Trying to track down Bryce Harper's shot to left field, Polanco leaped to make the catch and bounced off the wall as the ball hopped away. The outfielder's face appeared to take the brunt of the blow, and he was slow to get up after falling to the warning track.

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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.

Coke joins Bucs as Schugel shut down

Coke joins Bucs as Schugel shut down

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates shut down reliever A.J. Schugel on Friday, sending him to the 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury. The transaction made room on the roster for left-hander Phil Coke, who joined the club Friday after being traded by the Yankees a day earlier.

Coke will pitch out of the bullpen, capable of being a long reliever or lefty specialist. The Bucs have leaned heavily on their relievers this month, wearing down a group already thinned out by injuries (Schugel and Neftali Feliz) and a number of Triple-A starters not used to pitching on consecutive days.

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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.