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Worth noting

• One big reason the Pirates had lost five of six going into Saturday night's game: In those six games, they struck out a total of 75 times, while hitting only five home runs; not a very good tradeoff.

• The Bucs continue to aim higher than a breakthrough .500 record. Or even a Wild Card playoff spot. Manager Clint Hurdle: "We haven't lowered the bar. We haven't backed off our intent to win the division." Still, for .500 watchers, to break through, the Bucs had to go 15-22 in their last 37 games -- and had gone 18-19 in their last 37, prior to Saturday night.

• Starling Marte (right-oblique strain) played catch for the first time Friday, but "he's not going to be running the bases all of a sudden. He'll do things incrementally. But he is starting to move around more," Hurdle said.

The Last Word
"I don't think I've ever met a more intelligent, mentally-tough, balanced young man in my life. I've had some conversations with him in the past month that have been awesome. Interesting. I don't know what it's like to go on the field and have people screaming 'M-V-P!' for you. I know what it's like to go on the field and have people screaming at you."
--Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on Andrew McCutchen.

• One big reason the Pirates had lost five of six going into Saturday night's game: In those six games, they struck out a total of 75 times, while hitting only five home runs; not a very good tradeoff.

• The Bucs continue to aim higher than a breakthrough .500 record. Or even a Wild Card playoff spot. Manager Clint Hurdle: "We haven't lowered the bar. We haven't backed off our intent to win the division." Still, for .500 watchers, to break through, the Bucs had to go 15-22 in their last 37 games -- and had gone 18-19 in their last 37, prior to Saturday night.

• Starling Marte (right-oblique strain) played catch for the first time Friday, but "he's not going to be running the bases all of a sudden. He'll do things incrementally. But he is starting to move around more," Hurdle said.

The Last Word
"I don't think I've ever met a more intelligent, mentally-tough, balanced young man in my life. I've had some conversations with him in the past month that have been awesome. Interesting. I don't know what it's like to go on the field and have people screaming 'M-V-P!' for you. I know what it's like to go on the field and have people screaming at you."
--Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on Andrew McCutchen.