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Pirates 'put a foot down' in snapping losing streak

Freese reliable vs. lefty pitching
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Pirates' win in the series opener against the Mets on Monday night is the first step in the right direction for the team, which has been struggling as of late. The 6-4 win at Citi Field snapped a five-game losing streak for the Bucs.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle believes that it is time to stop talking about being a good team and time to start playing like one. In Monday's game, he made some changes to the lineup that proved to be successful.

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NEW YORK -- The Pirates' win in the series opener against the Mets on Monday night is the first step in the right direction for the team, which has been struggling as of late. The 6-4 win at Citi Field snapped a five-game losing streak for the Bucs.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle believes that it is time to stop talking about being a good team and time to start playing like one. In Monday's game, he made some changes to the lineup that proved to be successful.

View Full Game Coverage

"We needed to put a foot down. I don't think I've ever had a rougher patch in 34 games since I've been in the Major Leagues as a player, coach or manager," Hurdle said. "And I've had enough."

Dealing with lefties
On Tuesday, the Pirates faced Mets lefty Steven Matz, who held a 3.68 ERA on the season. For that reason, David Freese was in the lineup at third base, replacing everyday starter Colin Moran. Freese entered with a .451 slugging percentage and an .826 OPS in his career versus lefties.

Moran may still have his chance. Hurdle has used him in spots against left-handed pitching this season and plans to give the rookie more opportunities as the season goes on.

No worries about Dickerson
Although his power numbers are not on track compared to recent seasons, Corey Dickerson is not a concern for Hurdle.

Dickerson has gone 1-for-9 in his last three games and has not hit a home run since May 4 in Milwaukee.

"His power numbers are down from what we've seen in the last two years," Hurdle said. "It doesn't mean they're going to stay there, and it doesn't mean they can't be reclaimed. I just think that now there's a different type of approach of how he wants to hit the ball."

Hurdle's landlord
When Hurdle first moved to Pittsburgh in 2011, he rented a house for the first three months he was living there. The house happened to be owned by Mets outfielder and former Pirate Jose Bautista.

At the time, Bautista was playing in Toronto and was looking to rent his place, so he offered it to Hurdle. Hurdle lived there for three months, and his wife and kids lived there for a short time as well. He noted that Bautista "had great neighbors."

Erin Fish is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Pittsburgh Pirates, David Freese