PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander Ryan Vogelsong may have taken the loss in Sunday's 3-2 defeat to the Marlins at PNC Park, but the veteran once again proved his toughness.
Vogelsong had a scare in the third inning when he tried to bunt. He went down when Marlins starter Jose Urena came in high and tight as the ball hit the bat. He dusted himself off and executed a sacrifice on the ensuing pitch.
"You got two choices," Vogelsong said. "You're either going to be soft and not do it, or you buckle down and stick your nose in there and get it down, and I've chosen to do the second one."
The 39-year-old gave the Pirates a quality start, allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits over six innings.
His wild pitch in the fifth inning, however, permitted Dee Gordon to score, holding up as the decisive run.
"I did a lot of work when I was hurt," Vogelsong said. "I did a lot of work with [pitching coach] Ray Searage and was able to kind of eliminate some of the bad habits that I had gotten into, and it's allowing me to make pitches and throw the ball where I want to. I feel like I made a whole lot of really good pitches today."
Vogelsong was making his fourth start since being reinstated from the disabled list on Aug. 4. He was hit in the face by a Jordan Lyles pitch on May 23 and went to the DL with facial fractures.
In those four starts, Vogelsong has given up six earned runs over 23 2/3 innings for a 2.28 ERA with 17 strikeouts and seven walks.
"He's been nothing but gritty since he showed up, probably before he showed up," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's a tough man."
George Von Benko is a contributor for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.