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Keller finds lessons in struggles vs. Padres

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 15, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- On Saturday, Mitch Keller was in command. His release point was consistent. All of his pitches were working, and he held the Cubs to just one run in five innings. But Keller could not keep that momentum going in Thursday’s finale with the Padres, as he was quickly

Bucs GM on CF struggles: 'Give it some time'

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 15, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates haven't seen much production out of their center fielders in the first two weeks of the 2021 season, but general manager Ben Cherington said the team plans to “give it some time.” Anthony Alford and Dustin Fowler, the primary center fielders, have combined to hit .109

Stat of the Day: Keller hit early and hard

April 15, 2021

MLB.com is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Pirates this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

Polanco's HR, big night power Bucs past SD

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 15, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- Last season was not easy for Gregory Polanco. The Pirates right fielder ended the shortened campaign with a .153 batting average, the second-lowest mark in the Majors (minimum 150 plate appearances), over 50 games. After a solid start to the spring, Polanco was feeling fully confident and healthy

'Very encouraging' signs during Hayes' rehab

Rookie star making progress, nearing return to Pirates' lineup
@JakeCrouseMLB
April 14, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The return of Pirates rookie star Ke’Bryan Hayes appears to be near. Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday that Hayes, who sustained a left wrist injury in the second game of the season on April 3, began swinging a bat on Tuesday and continued to

Pittsburgh reporter stood by Jackie's side

Wendell Smith chronicled Robinson as he broke MLB's race barrier
@adamdberry
April 14, 2021

A version of this story was originally published in April 2020. PITTSBURGH -- Wendell Smith grew up in Detroit, by his own account mostly free of racial discrimination. His father was a personal chef for Henry Ford, and Smith dreamed of playing baseball. In 1933, at age 19, he pitched

Each club's last player to wear iconic No. 42

April 15, 2021

In 1997, Major League Baseball honored Jackie Robinson by making his No. 42 the first uniform number to be retired across the sport. That said, players who were wearing No. 42 at the time could choose to continue wearing it until they retired. Thus, some teams have had a player

Kuhl, Bucs' bats redeem rough start vs. SD

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 14, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- It took 51 minutes and 75 pitches just to get through the first inning. There were 17 walks, seven batters hit by pitches and three wild pitches in total. But in the end, after the grueling four-hour, seven-minute game had been decided, the final score at PNC Park

Cahill keeps potent Padres' bats 'off balance'

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 12, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates got a much-needed turnaround Monday night from a veteran who figures to be a big part of their pitching plans in 2021, but a stumble by a young arm sent the team to a 6-2 loss at PNC Park. Trevor Cahill went five innings with just

Difo 'confident' in own work, versatility

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 13, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- When the Pirates lost many of their veteran clubhouse leaders -- like Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams -- questions were raised as to who would fill the void on a young team. Naturally, regulars like Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl and Gregory Polanco come to mind. But

Evans No. 2 on list of hottest rookies

@SamDykstraMiLB
April 13, 2021

Like anything in baseball, there are always surprises. The 2021 season brought talk of clear Rookie of the Year favorites, but once the season actually got going, there were more than a fair share of rookie standouts that didn't appear on those early lists. Consider the top three hottest rookies

3 takeaways from Bucs' first series win

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 11, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates returned home after a 1-5 start to the season, but they earned a convincing series win to begin their first homestand with a 7-1 victory on Sunday afternoon vs. the Cubs at PNC Park. “To play well and to do what we did and to come

Family gives Evans a lift... literally

Pirates turn baserunning from weakness to strength
@JakeCrouseMLB
April 11, 2021

With opportunity has come results for Phillip Evans this season. The utility man has gotten consistent at-bats since Ke'Bryan Hayes was placed on the injured list last Sunday with left wrist inflammation. But with consistent opportunities comes a special moment like what Evans experienced on Saturday night. Evans took the

Bucs' bats awake to bury Cubs, back Keller

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 10, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The Bucs’ batters finally found their swing. After being held to only 14 runs over a six-game losing streak, the Pirates erupted in the second inning on Saturday, scoring seven times to fuel an 8-2 win over the Cubs at PNC Park. And it came with the help

Notes: Stallings on Musgrove; Hayes update

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 10, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates were off on Friday, so shortly after 7:00 p.m. that night, Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings turned to his son and asked him if he’d like to watch Joe Musgrove, Stallings’ close friend and ex-teammate in Pittsburgh, pitch against the Rangers to close out the evening. “He’s

Legendary Bucs usher Coyne dies at 102

@adamdberry
April 9, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- Phil Coyne, the longtime Pirates usher who followed the team from Forbes Field to Three Rivers Stadium to PNC Park, died Friday morning at the age of 102. Quick to share a smile, Coyne was an instantly recognizable figure in Pittsburgh’s ballparks for 81 years and a Pittsburgh

Local kid Bednar makes 'special' home debut

Entered to longtime Pittsburgh Steelers anthem 'Renegade'
@JakeCrouseMLB
April 8, 2021

If someone stood on the streets of the North Shore of Pittsburgh and listened closely in the eighth inning of the Pirates’ 4-2 loss to the Cubs on Thursday, they might have thought the music was coming from Heinz Field. As David Bednar trotted in, “Renegade” by Styx -- a

Shelton talks home opener, early schedule

@JakeCrouseMLB
April 8, 2021

Last season, when Pirates manager Derek Shelton toed the third-base line at PNC Park during the pregame ceremonies for the club’s home opener, it was a special feeling for the first-time Major League manager. But as he walked across the Clemente Bridge shortly after dawn on Thursday, heading to PNC