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Pennsylvania rivalry means more to fans than players

Pennsylvania rivalry means more to fans than players

Pennsylvania rivalry means more to fans than players

PITTSBURGH -- Across all platforms and sports, there will always be a battle for Pennsylvania supremacy between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

But as the Pirates began a three-game set with the Phillies on Tuesday, it's business as usual for Neil Walker, a western Pennsylvania native.

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"Being from Pittsburgh, and living that Pittsburgh-Philly rivalry my entire life, I know it means a little bit more maybe to the fans than the players," Walker said. "But at the same time, we're looking to beat up on them for sure."

The Pirates took three of four from the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in late April, and the two teams finish out their season series this week.

Since the teams meet less than the Pirates do with National League Central foes, there isn't as much animosity. And since most players hail from different states and countries, they have no geographical ties to the areas, so it's just business as usual as the Bucs look to extend their season-high nine-game winning streak, their longest since 2004.

"It doesn't change anything. We know that they have a very good team. We've played them three or four times earlier in the year and did well," Walker said. "So it would be nice to start the second half of the year with a good series against them."

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

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