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Road success bodes well for Pirates' future

SEATTLE -- From the moment gray uniforms came into being, the baseball adage has held that to win championships, you must play .500 ball on the road.

So what does .611 ball get you?

That is what the Pirates managed between dropping their first three away games, April 5-7 in Los Angeles, and Wednesday afternoon's finale here of a brief two-game set with the Mariners. The Pirates entered this game having won 22 of their last 36 road games.

The Bucs won 17 away games in all of 2010, their last season prior to Clint Hurdle's becoming manager.

"We've ramped that up each year, something we definitely wanted to address; it was a big to-do item," Hurdle said. "We've been very competitive with the challenges the road can bring. This trip in particular, to some tough cities to play tough teams," including the Reds in Cincinnati and the Angels in Anaheim prior to the stop here.

"You have to meet the demands of the game," Hurdle added. "That's what we've been able to do to a very good degree."

Success on the road can raise a team to a different level. Instead of going home to get well, the Pirates are heading to PNC Park to get even better. Twelve of their next 15 games will be on the shores of the Allegheny.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
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