Worth noting

Worth noting

• The Pirates entered their 76th home game having smacked 61 homers at PNC Park to the visitors' 32 -- only nine have been allowed since the All-Star break.

A.J. Burnett's sporadic run support can be portrayed numerous ways, but perhaps nothing makes the point better than this: He has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 13 home starts, yet has only a .500 record [4-4] in PNC Park.

• This is Hurdle's 10th full season of managing, and in eight of the prior nine his clubs were either under .500 or more than 10 games behind [often, both] entering September. So he was asked whether his also-ran teams tended to get psyched against contenders, i.e., the spoiler concept.

"They could but, at the end of the day, that's impacted by the effort off the mound," Hurdle said. "You can have nine guys who all 'want,' but if that starting pitcher goes out and doesn't have a good day, the whole terrain changes."

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.