The Pirates' bats have carried the club back to the .500 mark. The offense lifted the team to an 8-6 victory over the Marlins on Saturday, a win that included a season-best 18 hits and brought the Pirates (34-34) back to the break-even mark for the first time since April 17. And it is the Pirates' bats that have led a surge since May 1, helping the Bucs climb out of an eight-games-below-.500 hole. Since May 1, the Pirates are 24-16 and lead the National League in on-base percentage (.351). They are second in batting average (.280) to only the Rockies. The hit parade continued Saturday. A night after the Pirates' combined for 17 hits in a 13-inning victory, highlighted by Gregory Polanco's five-hit night and first career home run — the game-winner — the Pirates bettered the effort by one. Every member of the starting lineup had at least one hit. “It started in May, and it's continued on into June,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the offensive surge. “We've faced good pitching, we've had good at-bats. Our focus has been good, our preparation has been good. The actual cleats in the batter's box and working one pitch at a time and selling out to try and make the guy's job behind you easier, it shows up.” Polanco had a relatively quiet day: he only had two hits. The prized rookie has 10 hits in his first five major league games, and he added two RBIs Saturday. Overshadowed a bit in Polanco-palooza, has been the play of Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen is playing like a player who could contend for back-to-back MVP awards. McCutchen leads all of baseball with 52 total bases and 17 extra-base hits in June, including a three-run home run off Marlins starter Randy Wolf — his 11th — that staked the Pirates to a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning Saturday.
Pirates hang on for win over Marlins, return to .500
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Jun 15