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|Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle insists he hasn’t been keeping close tabs of his team’s slide following a hot start. He wasn’t aware the Pirates had dropped eight straight series until someone mentioned it to him earlier in the week.
”If somebody would have told me you’re going to lose eight series Youth Troy Apke Jersey , you’d think you’re going to be horrible,” Hurdle said. ”We’re not horrible. We’re fighting. And we believe that our best baseball is in front of us.”
It is, at least when the Pirates play the struggling Cincinnati Reds. Josh Harrison hit a two-run homer, Colin Moran and Elias Diaz added solo shots and the Pirates pulled away for a 6-2 victory on Saturday to push their modest winning streak to three and assuring themselves of their first positive series since taking a two-game set from the Chicago White Sox a month ago.
”We know what’s happened here the past couple weeks,” Harrison said. ”Guys are still plugging away and coming ready to show up every day and we’ve had three in a row. We know that doesn’t speak for what’s happened or what will happen. We’ve just got to continue to keep bringing it every day.”
Moran and Diaz both went deep off Luis Castillo (4-8) to give Pittsburgh the lead. Harrison hit his fourth of the season off reliever Austin Brice in the sixth. The Cincinnati native finished 2 for 4 is hitting .368 (14 for 38) against the Reds.
”Any time you can have a total offensive effort like that, it shows that we’re doing what we’re supposed to, taking advantage of mistake pitches and when presented with an opportunity to move a runner, get it done http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-shaquem-griffin-jersey ,” Harrison said.
Ivan Nova (4-5) worked through heavy traffic on a day his breaking ball abandoned him to last six innings and pick up his second victory in as many starts since returning from the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right ring finger. Nova allowed only Eugenio Suarez’s 13th home run in the second, striking out three while giving up three walks.
”I didn’t have the curveball today, but we grinded out there,” Nova said.
Castillo struggled keeping the ball on the right side of the fence at PNC Park, a problem that’s plagued the 25-year-old all season. He’s now allowed at least one home run in 15 of his 18 starts.
”It’s surprising because I’m trying to do my best and every time I get out there, I give up one or two home runs,” Castillo said after dropping his fourth straight decision. ”I really don’t know what’s happening right now. I’m just going to keep working in the bullpen and keep doing my best trying to help.”
Rookie Brandon Dixon hit his first major league home run off Pittsburgh reliever Michael Feliz in the ninth and Jesse Winker had two of Cincinnati’s seven hits to snap out of an 0-for-13 skid, but the Reds had issues taking advantage against Nova.
Cincinnati went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and is now 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position in the series.
”We’ve just got to get it going Derrick Henry Jersey Big ,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. ”You go through these things. We’ve got a good offensive ball club. We’ve shown it many times. We’re just in a little funk here where we’re not getting some timely hits.”
Moran broke a tie with his fourth home run of the season and first since June 2 when he sent Castillo’s pitch into the bullpen beyond the centerfield fence leading off the second. Diaz made it 3-1 when his fifth home run led off the third.
The Reds had their opportunities against Nova. They loaded the bases in the fourth only to have Billy Hamilton ground out to first to end the threat. Scott Schebler led off the fifth with a double but couldn’t get home and Hamilton came to the plate in the sixth with two runners on only to fly out to left field.
Hamilton finished 0 for 4 as his averaged dipped to .187.
Pirates: Reliever Richard Rodriguez (right shoulder inflammation) threw 20 pitches in a simulated game and is nearing a return from the 10-day disabled list. Rodriguez, who is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, said ”things feel really good right now.”
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.40 ERA) starts the series finale on Sunday. The 28-year-old picked up his first victory since 2016 in his previous start against St. Louis.
Pirates: Joe Musgrove (2-1, 2.16) makes his first career start against the Reds. Musgrove gave up two earned runs in five innings of a no decision on Monday against Arizona.
Ramon Foster can still hear the sound of his right knee buckling underneath him.
It's the first time in the Pittsburgh Steeler guard's two-plus decades playing football he'd ever heard one of his joints go "pop pop pop."
Lying on the field at Saint Vincent College after the ugly collision during the opening week of training camp last month, Foster feared the worst.
"A lot of things go through your mind," Foster said. "You don't want to go through your whole entire career and end it on an injury or have to go to (injured reserve). I've always been a gamer. I've always been a guy that shows up."
Something that Foster will continue to do for the AFC North champions now that the right knee that bent backward so awkwardly has mostly healed. The nine-year veteran practiced with his teammates on Monday for the first time since he hyperextended and suffered a bone bruise in the knee on July 28.
The 32-year-old is optimistic he'll be available when the Steelers open the regular season at Cleveland on Sept. 9, though a lot of it will depend on how the knee responds to practice.
Though he feels good Glover Quin Jersey , Foster is also being cautious. He doesn't want to rush back at the expense of his long-term health.
"This season is challenging," Foster said. "My goal is to be 100 percent right so I don't have to take a week off at some point for general soreness. We'll see how we feel (Tuesday)."
Foster is the longest-tenured member of one of the NFL's top offensive lines. He created a role for himself after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and is entering the final season of a three-year deal he signed in 2016. He shrugged when asked if the injury ended any chance at signing a new contract before the regular season starts.
"We're at a point now where if it happens, it happens and if not, it's up to me to have a great season," Foster said. "The way the market is now, we'll see how it goes."
Foster is simply relieved it's even an option and is well aware of how narrowly he avoided a more harrowing outcome. When coach Mike Tomlin reviewed the play during a film session with the entire team, he paused at the moment Foster's right knee bent backward awkwardly.
"My foot was in the ground barely turning," Foster said. "Nobody said they could look at it Quenton Nelson Color Rush Jersey , so for me to be practicing today is truly a blessing."
Foster has spent the majority of the past month in the trainer's room recuperating, a process he said he "hated every minute of."
Still, he understands it's a small price to pay. Enormously popular with his teammates, Foster noted an uptick in chatter when he lined up on Monday.
"The thing I always say to myself is, 'When I'm done, I don't want to be a guy that is just someone they forget about,'" Foster said. "Clearly I've made my mark on some guys because they said practice wasn't the same. It was fun to be back."
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