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Worth noting

MLB.com

• Pedro Alvarez started Monday night's game without a hit in his previous four games. His only hitless rut of the season came in the first week, when he was hitless in seven straight [including six starts] from April 4-10. Alvarez was 0-for-24 in that stretch.

• Bullpen excellence is not exactly a one-year phenomenon in Pittsburgh. Even though many of the faces have changed, since the start of the 2012 season the Pirates are 119-2 when taking a lead into the ninth.

Full Game Coverage

• Pedro Alvarez started Monday night's game without a hit in his previous four games. His only hitless rut of the season came in the first week, when he was hitless in seven straight [including six starts] from April 4-10. Alvarez was 0-for-24 in that stretch.

• Bullpen excellence is not exactly a one-year phenomenon in Pittsburgh. Even though many of the faces have changed, since the start of the 2012 season the Pirates are 119-2 when taking a lead into the ninth.

Full Game Coverage

• Entering Monday's tilt, Andrew McCutchen had capitalized on Nationals pitching for a .533 average (16-for-30) in his last eight games in Washington.

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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pittsburgh Pirates