Boss-a Nova: Bucs win behind stellar ex-Yank

Boss-a Nova: Bucs win behind stellar ex-Yank

PITTSBURGH -- Yes, that's the same Ivan Nova. Facing his former team for the first time, Nova put together the kind of performance he's become known for since joining the Pirates, firing seven efficient innings and leading the Bucs to a 2-1 victory and series win over the Yankees on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

Nova, a Yankee from the time he signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004 until he was traded this past August, held New York to four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He confidently pounded the strike zone, as he's done with confidence for the Pirates and worked quickly, two staples of his 15 starts with the Pirates.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Sunday.

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

Watson, Hudson show grit under pressure

Relievers escape tense jams to secure Bucs' win, series victory

Watson, Hudson show grit under pressure

PITTSBURGH -- It would be easy to understand if the 27,840 fans at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon moved to the edge of their seats when second baseman Josh Harrison booted Ronald Torreyes' potential game-ending double-play grounder in the ninth inning.

The Pirates' defense cost them Saturday's game against the Yankees. But closer Tony Watson would not let the story repeat itself in the series finale. An inning after setup man Daniel Hudson escaped trouble, Watson left the bases loaded in the ninth to seal the Bucs' 2-1 win over the Yankees.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs set with RF options, but eyeing market

Following Marte's 80-game suspension, Pittsburgh leaning on internal candidates

Bucs set with RF options, but eyeing market

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates are monitoring the market for available outfielders, general manager Neal Huntington said, but they are comfortable moving forward with the group they have following Starling Marte's 80-game suspension.

Significant trades in April and May are rare, and few impact free agents remain available. But players do become available on the waiver wire, and two outfielders were designated for assignment over the past two days: the Brewers' Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the Mariners' Leonys Martin.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates look to recapture magic vs. Cubs

Pirates look to recapture magic vs. Cubs

Perhaps Cubs fans had expected a little more. Five losses in six games had dropped Chicago into third place in the National League Central on April 17.

But a week later, the level of fan anxiety in Chicago has subsided considerably. The defending World Series champions regained first place Friday and are on a roll, despite missing a sweep in Cincinnati, as they come into a three-game series vs. the Pirates that begins Monday night at PNC Park.

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Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates undone by homers, defense in loss

Pirates undone by homers, defense in loss

PITTSBURGH -- Held hitless for 4 2/3 innings Saturday afternoon, the Yankees finally found their bats -- in a big way. Starlin Castro and Chris Carter each launched a three-run homer and Aaron Judge added a monster solo shot in the ninth, leading the Yankees to an 11-5 win at PNC Park. 

While Castro's game-tying homer and Carter's go-ahead blast pushed the Yankees past the Bucs, it was Judge's prodigious shot, his sixth of the season, that had everyone talking after the game. More >

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Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Saturday.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

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

Defensive issues rear their head in defeat

Pirates charged with five unearned runs in loss against the Yankees

Defensive issues rear their head in defeat

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have put in the work. They were out on the field at PNC Park early Saturday afternoon, three hours before first pitch, working through team defensive drills. But the work is not leading to outs when Pittsburgh needs them most, as evidenced by the handful of mistakes that led to an 11-5 loss to the Yankees.

The Pirates are tied for the National League lead with 16 errors. In 17 games this season, they have allowed 15 unearned runs -- including five on Saturday.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Struggling Bastardo still looking to find rhythm

Left-hander pitches another difficult outing vs. Yankees

Struggling Bastardo still looking to find rhythm

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates had been looking for opportunities to use left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo, believing he would improve, but not wanting to thrust him into high-leverage situations with the game on the line.

There hadn't been any of them lately, but the situation presented itself in the Pirates' 11-5 loss to the Yankees on Saturday. Bastardo showed no signs of improvement, however, giving up two runs on four hits and a homer in 1 1/3 innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs bust out early, add on late vs. Yanks

Bucs bust out early, add on late vs. Yanks

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates committed three errors Friday night, but they were not undone by their defense. Unable to muster any offense as they were swept by the Cardinals in St. Louis, the Bucs powered their way to an early lead then took advantage of a critical seventh-inning error by Castro and beat the Yankees, 6-3, at PNC Park.

With two outs in the seventh and the Pirates clinging to a one-run lead, Andrew McCutchen hit a lazy popup into shallow right field. Starlin Castro settled under the ball, but it bounced out of his glove and found the outfield grass. Shortstop Jordy Mercer scored from first base, and David Freese singled home another valuable insurance run to give the Bucs a three-run edge over the Yankees' dangerous lineup.
 

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Yankees on Friday.

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

Glasnow 'making strides,' flashes potential

Rookie competes despite not having best stuff vs. Yankees

Glasnow 'making strides,' flashes potential

PITTSBURGH -- In describing his mindset on the mound, Tyler Glasnow often refers to various modes of pitching. When he's at his best, he's typically in "competitive mode." After a rough first inning at Wrigley Field on Saturday, he entered "do-whatever's-necessary mode" and finished with four strong frames.

The way he pitched for 4 2/3 innings in the Pirates' 6-3 win over the Yankees on Friday night at PNC Park? That was "survival mode," Glasnow said. His timing felt off, and he didn't have his best stuff.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates' outfield back to 'normal depth'

After experimenting with shift in last season, move back based on variety of factors

Pirates' outfield back to 'normal depth'

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates realigned their outfield this spring, a change that was partially negated by Andrew McCutchen moving back to center field after Starling Marte's 80-game suspension. But they made another change that should stick.

After shifting in last season, the Bucs have moved their outfielders back a few feet. It's not a dramatic alteration -- not like their move in last year -- but it is a return to "more of a normal depth," outfield coach Kimera Bartee said.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Pirates bolster offense?

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions from Bucs fans

Inbox: How will Pirates bolster offense?

ST. LOUIS - The Pirates have played 15 games -- five sweep-or-be-swept series. It's not enough to draw sweeping conclusions -- pardon the pun -- but it's more than enough to spark curiosities and prompt questions.

We'll answer a few of yours in the first Pirates Inbox of the season.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates go from one extreme to the other

Club has yet to split a series this season

Pirates go from one extreme to the other

ST. LOUIS -- The Pirates have played five opponents this season and have yet to split a series. Their 2-1 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday, their third straight by the same score, was the latest in an alternating, sweep-or-be-swept sequence.

Swept by the Red Sox. Swept the Braves. Swept by the Reds. Swept the Cubs. Now, swept by the Cards. The last team to begin a season like this was the 2003 Twins, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, and they were involved in seven straight sweeps.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cole solid in start, but offense can't get going

Cole solid in start, but offense can't get going

ST. LOUIS -- The sting of a slow start felt a little less severe on Wednesday, as the Cardinals wrapped up a series sweep of the Pirates with a boost from Dexter Fowler's bat and another strong starting pitching performance. All three games in this series ended with a 2-1 score.

Fowler provided all the necessary offense with his first multi-homer game since 2013. His solo shots off Pirates' starter Gerrit Cole in the third and fifth innings were his first home runs with the club. The second was recognized with a curtain call, Fowler's first at Busch Stadium.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

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

Bell making adjustments to inside fastballs

Bell making adjustments to inside fastballs

ST. LOUIS -- Josh Bell was sitting in the corner of the visitors' clubhouse at Busch Stadium on Wednesday morning, a bat in his hands, practicing his setup from both sides of the plate.

It hasn't been an ideal start for the switch-hitting rookie, who entered Wednesday batting .200/.273/.250 with six strikeouts and four walks. And it isn't hard to figure out what's been troubling the highly touted first baseman. Despite his struggles, Bell slugged his first homer of the year Wednesday off of Cards starter Michael Wacha in the 2-1 loss. The pitch was a fastball over the middle of the plate.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte suspended 80 games for PEDs

Marte suspended 80 games for PEDs

ST. LOUIS -- Pirates center fielder Starling Marte received an 80-game suspension without pay, effective immediately, on Tuesday for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, a devastating blow to a Pittsburgh club with an already-thin margin for error in the National League Central.

Marte tested positive for Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance, according to a statement by the Commissioner's Office. The 28-year-old will be ineligible for the postseason if the Pirates qualify, but their odds will be much longer without their No. 2-hitting center fielder.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kuhl strong, but Bucs lack timely hits in loss

Kuhl strong, but Bucs lack timely hits in loss

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Leake's renaissance was on display again Tuesday, as he pitched the Cardinals to their first back-to-back wins of the season with a second straight 2-1 victory over the Pirates at Busch Stadium.

Though his scoreless innings streak came to an end at 14 1/3, Leake's dominance continued. He scattered seven hits, including two by outfielder Andrew McCutchen, but limited the Pirates to one run over 6 1/3 innings. Along the way, Leake induced 13 groundball outs.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

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

Fallout, reaction to Marte suspension

Answers about lineup, potential moves with center fielder out

Fallout, reaction to Marte suspension

ST. LOUIS -- Meet the new center fielder, same as the old center fielder.

The Pirates will face many questions in the wake of Starling Marte's 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. They answered one quickly: Yes, Andrew McCutchen is moving back to center field while Marte is out. McCutchen's reaction?

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cutch flashes leather, but Bucs' offense sputters

Cutch flashes leather, but Bucs' offense sputters

ST. LOUIS -- The defense in center field was not an issue Tuesday night, as many feared in the wake of Starling Marte's 80-game suspension earlier in the day. Neither was the starting pitching, the subject of consternation throughout the winter and spring.

Pittsburgh saw a standout defensive night from Andrew McCutchen, once and future center fielder, and another strong start from right-hander Chad Kuhl. But the Pirates could not support either performance, watching two late rallies fizzle in a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nova takes tough-luck loss after tossing CG

Righty records 4th complete game with Pirates, has walked only 3 during tenure

Nova takes tough-luck loss after tossing CG

ST. LOUIS -- This may be all you need to know about Ivan Nova's time with the Pirates: He has more complete games (four) than walks (three) in 14 starts wearing black and gold.

Nova added one to his "CG" column and zero to his "BB" total as he tossed an eight-inning, 78-pitch complete game but lost to the Cardinals, 2-1, on Monday night at Busch Stadium. The veteran right-hander held the Cards to five hits and struck out three, pounding the strike zone but paying for one mistake.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs stage late uprising, but win streak ends

Bucs stage late uprising, but win streak ends

ST. LOUIS -- Home from an exasperating road trip, the Cardinals played one of their crispest games of the season to halt Pittsburgh's three-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory at Busch Stadium on Monday night.

"It's the biggest win possible in April that you can have," Cardinals starter Lance Lynn said wryly, after earning his first victory since 2015. "We're happy to be home. We have a three-game series here against a division rival. We got off to a good start, and hopefully we can keep rolling and start doing some things we're capable of and enjoy the season."

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

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

Polanco produces in pinch in return to action

After sitting out with groin pull, Pirates OF hits RBI double in ninth-inning rally attempt

Polanco produces in pinch in return to action

ST. LOUIS -- Pirates left fielder Gregory Polanco was not in the starting lineup for Monday's series opener against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, but he entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and hit an RBI double in a rally effort before the Bucs fell, 2-1.

"That's what we were looking for," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was good to see Polanco stay in the at-bat and get his swing off."

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harrison hit by pitch in 4 straight PAs

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Harrison hit by pitch in 4 straight PAs

After leading the American League in hit-by-pitches each of the last two seasons -- despite never reaching the 400-plate appearance mark -- Brandon Guyer had the title of King of the HBP. Though it's a crown that no one probably wants, he may have already lost it in 2017.  

That's because Josh Harrison was hit in four consecutive plate appearances.

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Pirates acquire reliever Barbato from Yankees

Pirates acquire reliever Barbato from Yankees

ST. LOUIS -- The Pirates added to their bullpen depth on Monday, acquiring right-hander Johnny Barbato from the Yankees for a player to be named later or cash.

Barbato, 24, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Designated for assignment by the Yankees on Wednesday, Barbato now has a spot on the Pirates' 40-man roster.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs plate six late, sweep Cubs at Wrigley

Bucs plate six late, sweep Cubs at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- The Pirates just needed to get Jon Lester out of the game on Sunday to complete a sweep of the Cubs.

Pinch-runner Alen Hanson scored the tiebreaking run on Andrew McCutchen's fielder's choice despite a throw home from Anthony Rizzo, and Adam Frazier added a three-run homer in the ninth to lift the Pirates to a 6-1 victory over the Cubs and their first sweep at Wrigley Field since Sept. 5-7, 2014.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

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

Stuck in late jam, Taillon says 'Let's dance'

Bucs righty gets Bryant, Rizzo to escape bases-loaded spot

Stuck in late jam, Taillon says 'Let's dance'

CHICAGO -- With Jameson Taillon and Jon Lester locked in a pitchers' duel all afternoon Sunday, the Cubs finally broke through in the seventh. They capitalized when Jordy Mercer bobbled a potential double-play ball, and pinch-hitter Tommy La Stella made the Pirates pay with an RBI double.

Determined to make the best of a bad situation, Taillon recorded one out then walked Kyle Schwarber to load the bases. Coming to the plate: reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant. Looming on deck: the man who finished fourth in last year's NL MVP voting, Anthony Rizzo.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In sweep, Bucs show plenty of grit, character

Hurdle's club rallies in each game against defending champs

In sweep, Bucs show plenty of grit, character

CHICAGO -- The past few days, Clint Hurdle has preached the importance of "acting as if." The Pirates put their manager's words into action this weekend.

They acted as if they hadn't just been badly outplayed and swept by the Reds at home. As if they weren't facing the defending World Series champions with Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester starting consecutively at rowdy Wrigley Field. As if they didn't win four games against the Cubs last season, only one of them at this ballpark, and lose 14.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glasnow to develop in Majors, not Minors

Bucs' top prospect turns rough start around; Hurdle: 'He has to earn it here'

Glasnow to develop in Majors, not Minors

CHICAGO -- After a frustrating first inning Saturday at Wrigley Field, Tyler Glasnow walked off the mound and screamed. In his second start of the year, Glasnow found himself in a four-run hole. What was he thinking?

"Just, let's go," said Glasnow, rated the Pirates' No. 1 prospect by MLBPipeline.com. "Go out there, be athletic and do what I know I can do."

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Pirates filling in for Kang but hoping he returns

Slugging infielder being held in South Korea after third DUI conviction

Pirates filling in for Kang but hoping he returns

CHICAGO -- The Pirates haven't forgotten about Jung Ho Kang. To the contrary, the Korean slugger should soon be getting a shipment arranged by his old team.

It's a pitching machine that is a cross between the Japanese-made Shizuoka Prefecture, which can throw 143-mph fastballs, and the programmable e-Hack Attack, which throws Corey Kluber-style sliders and Kyle Hendricks changeups.

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Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.