Pirates finding success on the road
Despite losing 6-0 to the Marlins on Tuesday evening, the Pirates have been successful on the road this season. The Bucs are 7-4 away from PNC Park this year. A huge difference from 2010 when the Bucs went 17-64 on the road.
The Pirates have won all three of their road series (Cubs, Cardinals, Reds) –the first time they have three straight series wins on the road since April of 2002.
So what is the team doing differently this year?
Manager Clint Hurdle told David Villavicencio of MLB.com, “We’ve tried to simplify it. You throw first-pitch strikes, get the first batter of an inning out, and on offense you get the first hitter on base. When there are opportunities to score, you get them in. These are the baseball staples.
“I wasn’t here last year but I know these are some areas that we weren’t very good in. They’ve taken it to heart that for us to go where we want to go, we’ve got to become a much better ballclub on the road. We’ve gotten out of the blocks pretty clean so far. There are a lot of games left to play, but I’m pleased with the effort and the attitude on the road, and I anticipate it will turn around back home when we get there.”
- Third baseman Pedro Alvarez was back in the lineup on Tuesday, after getting the day off on Monday. Alvarez was moved down the order, batting in the seventh spot –for the first time in his career.
Hurdle told David Villavicencio of MLB.com, “There is ownership to a lineup, and you give guys the opportunity to move, and when guys aren’t getting things done, you shuffle them around. I’m going to be proactive rather than reactive with it. Right now, Jones has earned five and Pedro has earned seven.”
- Right-hander Jeff Karstens will start for the Pirates on Friday against the Washington Nationals in D.C. Karstens will make his second spot start for Ross Ohlendorf (right shoulder posterior strain) who was placed on the disabled list (April 9th).
- Jose Ascanio (right elbow tightness) was scheduled to make a rehab appearance for Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday but the game was postponed due to weather