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Hurdle not overreacting at 'one-swing' defeats

Bucs remain confident after three-game sweep, which included two walk-offs

CINCINNATI -- Clint Hurdle and the Pirates have never been this happy to be on their way to Milwaukee. They have had challenging times at Miller Park, but after Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Reds, a change of venue is something to look forward to.

They got swept out of Great American Ball Park the hard way: Two walk-offs and one near walk-off. And neither Todd Frazier nor Joey Votto will be in Wisconsin.

"One-swing separation," said Hurdle, pulling a common thread through losses to the Reds by the scores of 5-2, 5-4 and 3-2. "At the end of the day, we have a good team, and we're going to battle through it.

"We got to find way to connect the dots a little bit better on offense," Hurdle added after the Bucs' first season-opening sweep since 2006. "We need more consistency. But we'll keep playing. What we're doing, it takes a while to actually get it done."

All three games with the Reds were tied in the eighth inning. Opening Day was decided on Frazier's three-run, eighth-inning homer off Tony Watson -- who took dominant turns in each of the other two games. The Game 2 marathon was decided on Votto's 11th-inning single off Radhames Liz.

And on Thursday, Gregory Polanco's unnecessary haste to get to a ninth-inning sinking liner led to the unearned winning run.

"If we make that catch in right field, we could still be playing the game," Hurdle said. "Three very close games. They pitched, fielded and hit a little better than us. One more run.

"Overreaction is never the proper reaction. We expect to turn this thing around."

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
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