Polanco's triple lifts Pirates over Padres

Polanco's triple lifts Pirates over Padres

PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco's triple with two outs in the eighth inning drove in the tie-breaking run Tuesday night as the Pirates edged San Diego, 3-2, to clinch the Bucs' first series win over the Padres in PNC Park history, where the teams have been meeting annually since 2001.

Polanco's shot up the left-center alley off Joaquin Benoit scored Sean Rodriguez, who had been hit by a pitch to begin the inning. The Bucs won their fourth straight, and seventh in eight games, while the loss was San Diego's fourth consecutive, matching the Friars' longest skid of the season. Mark Melancon closed out the game for his 26th consecutive successful save conversion, tying Joel Hanrahan's 2011 club record.

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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. Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inside-the-tarp home won: Bucs help crew, grab W

Players help rescue trapped grounds crew member

Inside-the-tarp home won: Bucs help crew, grab W

PITTSBURGH -- There were two outs in the top of the third inning during the Pirates' 3-2 win over the Padres on Tuesday night at PNC Park when the rain finally drove both teams off the field and 21,887 fans toward any available shelter.

As usual, the grounds crew rushed toward the tarp, rolled up by the seats down the third-base line, and quickly began to unroll it. But the storm over Pittsburgh rolled in even quicker, and strong gusts of wind wreaked havoc on the grounds crew's work.

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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.

Polanco comes through at perfect time

Young outfielder delivers tie-breaking RBI triple in win over Padres

Polanco comes through at perfect time

PITTSBURGH -- By now, some people probably cringe when the Pirates drop on them their "next man up" mentality. They have heard it enough that it qualifies as a cliché. It may be trite, but, man, does it work.

Regarding the freshest situation calling for the next man: Josh Harrison's left thumb injury. Two men, not just one, stepped up to key the Bucs' 3-2 win over the Padres on a rainy Tuesday night.

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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.

Prospect Tarpley tosses rain-shortened no-hitter

Pirates No. 23 prospect allows 1 walk in 6 innings for West Virginia Power

Prospect Tarpley tosses rain-shortened no-hitter

Class A West Virginia got its second no-hitter of the season and it even won the game this time.

Pirates No. 23 prospect Stephen Tarpley gave up just one walk in six otherwise clean innings before rain ended the contest early. The Power picked up a 3-0 win over Delmarva, which helped atone for a team no-hitter on April 15 that resulted in a 1-0 loss to Hagerstown.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Burnett relishing long-awaited first All-Star nod

Veteran right-hander headed to Midsummer Classic for 1st time in 17th season

Burnett relishing long-awaited first All-Star nod

PITTSBURGH -- A.J. Burnett was the Pirates' undeniable star of All-Star announcement day -- both during the game, as he set up the Bucs' 2-1 walk-off victory over San Diego on Monday night, and prior to it, when manager Clint Hurdle stood in the middle of the clubhouse and read off the honor roll.

After he heard his name, Burnett was "waiting for, 'Just kidding,' or something."

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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.

Morton hopes to continue success against Padres

Morton hopes to continue success against Padres

The Padres' lineup will try to go against past history when it faces Charlie Morton and the Pirates on Wednesday at PNC Park.

Throughout his career, Morton has limited San Diego's current hitters to a combined .172 batting average (15-of-87) and .195 slugging percentage. That includes Padres All-Star outfielder Justin Upton, who has just two hits in 10 at-bats against the right-hander.

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John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cutch to start as Bucs boast 4 All-Stars

McCutchen, Burnett, Cole and Melancon get the call on Monday

Cutch to start as Bucs boast 4 All-Stars

PITTSBURGH -- All-Star constant Andrew McCutchen not only made his fifth consecutive Midsummer Classic as the rest of the National League squad was announced Monday night -- but is also the pick to replace the injured Giancarlo Stanton in the starting lineup for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.

McCutchen will be joined in the Pirates' contingent by first-timers A.J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole -- the first tandem of Pittsburgh starters on an All-Star staff since Bob Friend and Vernon Law in 1960 -- and fellow 2013 All-Star Mark Melancon.

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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.

Kang looking forward to increased role with Harrison out

Rookie third baseman has flourished with regular playing time

Kang looking forward to increased role with Harrison out

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates were dealt deflating news Monday, when leadoff man Josh Harrison's left thumb injury led him to the disabled list. The good news is they have a capable reserve ready for an expanded role.

With Harrison out for an undetermined period of time, Jung Ho Kang figures to be the Pirates' regular third baseman. The South Korean rookie has adjusted well to the U.S. and the Major Leagues, but occasionally struggled with a part-time role.

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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.

Alvarez bests father-in-law Murphy with walk-off

Alvarez bests father-in-law Murphy with walk-off

PITTSBURGH -- At some point this offseason, perhaps sitting at the dinner table during the holidays, Padres interim manager Pat Murphy might think about this loss and smile.

But that grin probably won't spread quite as wide as the one that stretched across his son-in-law's face Monday night at PNC Park. That's because Pedro Alvarez, Murphy's son-in-law, dealt the decisive blow in the Pirates' 2-1 walk-off win over the Padres.

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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.

Alvarez plays hero in walk-off win over Padres

Alvarez plays hero in walk-off win over Padres

PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez's single with two outs in the ninth scored All-Star Andrew McCutchen and gave the Pirates a 2-1 win over San Diego on Monday night, their fifth win in six games moving them a season-high 14 games over .500. Alvarez delivered his second career walk-off hit off Brandon Maurer, who, with one out, had walked McCutchen and allowed a single to Jung Ho Kang. McCutchen moved to third on Francisco Cervelli's fly to center before Alvarez's game-winner.

"It's a really cool feeling. It's something that, as a kid, you always think about doing, walking-off the game," Alvarez said. "Obviously love seeing the guys coming out of the dugout and rushing you."

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Corey Brock and Tom Singer are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harrison placed on DL with left thumb injury

Pirates may be without former All-Star for six weeks; add Ishikawa to active roster

Harrison placed on DL with left thumb injury

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates lost a key piece of their lineup Monday, placing infielder Josh Harrison on the 15-day disabled list with a left thumb injury.

Harrison sustained the injury while sliding into second base during the seventh inning of the Pirates' 5-2 win over the Indians on Sunday at PNC Park.

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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' big 5th vs. Tribe leads Cole to 12th win

Bucs' big 5th vs. Tribe leads Cole to 12th win

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Gerrit Cole earned his Major League-leading 12th win of the season as the Pirates reached the midpoint of their season with a 5-3 win over the Indians on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

Cole pitched eight innings, struck out five and retired the final 16 batters he faced in Pittsburgh's 81st game of the season. First baseman Pedro Alvarez started the Bucs' big rally in the fifth with a two-run homer, and center fielder Andrew McCutchen finished it with a two-run double.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte exits in 4th with discomfort in left side

Left fielder will be re-evaluated Monday, has dealt with similar issue before

Marte exits in 4th with discomfort in left side

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates left fielder Starling Marte left Sunday's 5-3 win over the Indians at PNC Park during the middle of an at-bat due to discomfort in his left side.

The Pirates will re-evaluate Marte's status on Monday.

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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.

Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers

Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers

PITTSBURGH -- Travis Ishikawa is coming back to Pittsburgh.

The Pirates claimed Ishikawa off waivers from the Giants on Sunday afternoon. The Bucs will add Ishikawa to their roster and announce a corresponding move upon his arrival.

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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.

Locke dazzles with eight scoreless innings

Lefty faces one over minimum, retires last 19 in stellar outing

Locke dazzles with eight scoreless innings

PITTSBURGH -- Driven to not be the lemon in the Pirates' rotation garage, Jeff Locke on Saturday instead became their sleek roadster.

"Everyone in the rotation has done it most of the season, and you never want to feel like you're the weak link," Locke said after eight innings of brilliance in the Bucs' 1-0 win over the Indians on a PNC Park Independence Day afternoon. "You want to put forth the best effort."

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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.

Bucs even series vs. Tribe with Locke's gem

Bucs even series vs. Tribe with Locke's gem

PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Locke turned off a hot Indians offense for eight innings on Saturday and Neil Walker's sixth-inning single drove in the only run he needed to give the Pirates a 1-0 victory on Independence Day.

Cleveland rookie Cody Anderson matched Locke with the exception of a brief sixth-inning sequence, when Josh Harrison doubled and scored on Walker's ensuing single.

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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. John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs turn to untouchable Melancon in 9th

Despite Locke's stellar first eight innings, Hurdle makes tough decision to go with closer

Bucs turn to untouchable Melancon in 9th

PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Locke was nearly finished with the best start of his career Saturday afternoon, and manager Clint Hurdle had a tough decision to make. Should he send out Locke for the ninth with a one-run lead or turn to closer Mark Melancon?

Several minutes after the game ended with high fives, handshakes, a win for Locke and a save for Melancon, Hurdle wasn't entirely sure he'd made the right decision. But the move worked out in the end, as Melancon continued his dominant stretch of ninth-inning performances and the Pirates beat the Indians, 1-0, at PNC Park.

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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.

Richard gone, but Bucs feel good about depth

Richard gone, but Bucs feel good about depth

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates had hoped to keep Clayton Richard in the Indianapolis on-deck circle until circumstances forced a call for starting pitching help, but even with the veteran left-hander's deal into the Cubs' rotation, manager Clint Hurdle remains comfortable with the Bucs' supply of standby arms.

"We've lost surplus. We lost depth in our depth," Hurdle said Saturday afternoon. "But I still think we're in a place where we're covered. If we lose two starters, that might change."

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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 carefully cast their own ASG votes

Players, coaches, managers consider who will help them win home-field advantage

Pirates carefully cast their own ASG votes

PITTSBURGH -- For a team like the Pirates, the outcome of the All-Star Game -- and the resulting home-field advantage in the World Series -- takes on a little added significance. So, too, does the process of filling out their All-Star ballots.

Much attention has been paid this summer to the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot fan voting. But each Major League player, coach and manager receives a ballot of his own to fill out.

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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 struggle after delay, but don't blame rain

Pirates have experience with inclement weather, 'don't get caught up in all that external stuff,' Hurdle says

Bucs struggle after delay, but don't blame rain

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have gotten used to rain delays this season. They've sat and waited, gone back to the clubhouse and retaken the field through nearly 12 hours worth of them over eight games this year.

They came out on the other side of a two-hour, eight-minute stoppage Friday night and saw a close game -- down one, tying run on first -- slip away as they lost to the Indians, 5-2, at PNC Park.

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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 provides only offense for Bucs

McCutchen provides only offense for Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- A trio of early runs and another solid start led the Indians to their fifth straight win, a 5-2 victory over the Pirates on a rainy Friday night at PNC Park.

With Brandon Moss and Michael Bourn providing some early run support, right-hander Trevor Bauer picked up where the rest of the Cleveland rotation left off in Tampa Bay earlier this week. Bauer (7-5) retired the first 10 Pirates hitters he faced and held the Bucs to just two runs before rain knocked him out of the game with one out in the seventh inning. Bauer's showing gave Cleveland's rotation a 1.67 ERA over the team's five-game win streak.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs trade lefty Richard to Cubs

Bucs trade lefty Richard to Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates made good on their promise and intent when they came to a Minor League agreement on Dec. 3 with veteran lefty Clayton Richard: to work him back to the Major Leagues.

Richard is coming, but not to the Pirates, who on Friday honored the "upward mobility" clause in his contract by trading him to the Cubs for cash considerations.

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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.

Hernia surgery likely to end Taillon's season

Hernia surgery likely to end Taillon's season

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates pitching prospect Jameson Taillon was nearing another milestone in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last week, preparing to pitch for one of Pittsburgh's Minor League affiliates for the first time since 2013.

Now, it appears Taillon has lost another season. The Bucs' No. 2 prospect is expected to have surgery late next week to repair an inguinal hernia, the Pirates announced Friday, likely sidelining him for the rest of 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.

Liriano's gem sets tone in Bucs' Detroit sweep

Liriano's gem sets tone in Bucs' Detroit sweep

DETROIT -- Francisco Liriano tossed seven scoreless innings, and a four-run ninth weathered a late comeback attempt as the Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers with an 8-4 win on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.

Rajai Davis lined Liriano's first pitch into center field for a single, but the southpaw allowed just four hits the rest of the way. In the fourth inning, Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Miguel Cabrera reached with one out, but Liriano worked out of his biggest jam of the day by inducing groundouts from Victor Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes.

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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. Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Liriano neutralizes lefty-mashing Tigers

Bucs southpaw drops ERA to 2.99 in completing sweep vs. potent lineup

Liriano neutralizes lefty-mashing Tigers

DETROIT -- The hard-to-hit left-hander went up against the team that hits lefties hard on Thursday afternoon. It was no contest.

Francisco Liriano pitted his miniscule opponents' average (.189) against the masculine Tigers' .276 average against southpaws -- third best in the Majors -- and pulled rank with seven scoreless innings in the Pirates' 8-4 win to cap a three-game sweep at Comerica Park.

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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

Roger Schlueter

Stats of the Day: Bucs arms on historic pace

Liriano tosses seven scoreless innings for Pirates staff with sub-3.00 ERA

Stats of the Day: Bucs arms on historic pace

Here are four interesting items from around the big leagues Thursday:

Francisco Liriano kept the Tigers off the board for seven frames, and the Pirates completed a three-game sweep with an 8-4 victory in Detroit. As a team, Pittsburgh owns a historic 2.91 ERA. The club has entered the All-Star break with a sub-3.00 ERA only once: in 1968. That year, Ron Kline, Bob Veale and Co. compiled a 2.65 ERA.

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Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs prideful on eve of first pitch with dads

Fifteen set for Friday's ceremony, an idea conceived by Hurdle

Bucs prideful on eve of first pitch with dads

DETROIT -- The Bucs' annual "Take your father to work" week will have a special and heart-tugging conclusion on Friday night, when the Pirates will open a 10-game homestand and an Independence Day weekend of ball at PNC Park.

The 15 dads who have spent the last three days here with their sons are traveling with them back to Pittsburgh. Prior to the series opener against the Indians, they will deliver 15 simulatenous first pitches to their sons.

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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.

Walker getting hot at right time for Pirates

Walker getting hot at right time for Pirates

DETROIT -- Hit on the head by Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera's arm as he crossed the bag on an infield hit in the sixth inning of the Pirates' 9-3 win over the Tigers, Neil Walker got a temporary bad feeling. How bad?

"I didn't know where I was," Walker said.

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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.