Sunday's four steals an outlier for Bucs

Sunday's four steals an outlier for Bucs

CHICAGO -- The Pirates swiped a season-high four bases in Sunday's 13-9 loss to the Cubs, a surprisingly high number for a team that has struggled in that area this season.

Pittsburgh entered Monday's series finale at Wrigley Field with a National League-low 63 stolen bases, a mark that sits 28th in baseball. The Bucs also have been caught stealing 48 times -- one behind Major League-leader Arizona -- for a Major League-low 57 percent success rate. The D-backs' 63 percent success rate is the next closest.

"We've tried to be more aggressive, but the baserunning numbers aren't where we want them to be this year," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's a work in progress. We're doing everything we can -- from our player development system on up -- to create a mentality.

"All of us are working hand in hand to get our running game where we feel it can be effective, percentage-wise, but also can make a difference in the course of the game."

Granted, Sunday's performance should be taken with a grain of salt. Cubs catcher Welington Castillo has thrown out only seven would-be basestealers in 34 attempts (20.6 percent) this season. But it was a step in the right direction.

"We found some situations with some guys that worked better, got better results," Hurdle said. "Hopefully that's like anything else that can boost the confidence going in the last 17 [games]."