Thanks in part to his outstanding work last September, Gerrit Cole became one of the big reasons the Pittsburgh Pirates ended their lengthy playoff drought. As Cole looks to win a season-best third consecutive start, the Pirates will try to move closer to back-to-back playoff berths with a fourth straight victory Thursday night against the visiting Boston Red Sox. Cole (9-5, 3.92 ERA) can do his part by recapturing his form from last September, when he went 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts to help Pittsburgh reach the postseason for the first time in 21 years.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 18th, 2014
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Gregory Polanco, Neil Walker and Ike Davis all homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox 9-1 on Wednesday night to maintain their grip on the second National League wild card spot. Polanco and Walker hit solo shots off Boston starter Clay Buchholz (8-9) and Davis drilled a three-run blast to center off reliever Steven Wright. The Pirates have won 10 of 12 and improved to a season-high 11 games over .500 (81-70). Francisco Liriano (6-10) won his third straight start, allowing one run in six innings.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 17th, 2014
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After a dismal slump dropped them out of the NL Central lead and threatened their playoff chances altogether, the Milwaukee Brewers are back to playing the type of baseball that had them in first place for a majority of the season. In order to gain more ground, Milwaukee likely will have to solve a pitcher who held it in check just 10 days ago. The Brewers seek a sixth victory in seven games as they face Adam Wainwright and the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium. Milwaukee (79-72) held a 1 1/2-game edge in the Central on Aug. 25, then dropped 13 of 14 before its current run.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 17th, 2014
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Former Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Kent Tekulve is recovering from heart transplant surgery.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 16th, 2014
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(Adds late games) Sept 15 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Monday’s Major League baseball games – - – - Nationals 4, Braves 2 Right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw seven scoreless innings to help Washington to a win over the Atlanta Braves and reduce the Nationals’ magic number for winning the National League East to two. The Nationals (86-63) could clinch their second division title in three years by beating Atlanta on Tuesday. Atlanta (75-75) have lost four successive games. Atlanta starter Ervin Santana (14-9) threw six solid innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 16th, 2014
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Post info: By GoBucs on September 15th, 2014
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Steve Pearce may be the perfect embodiment of Baltimore’s surprising year. The 31-year-old first baseman had never played more than 61 games in a season until 2014, but his 17 home runs – 13 more than his previous career high – have helped put the Orioles on the verge of an AL East title. ”It always had a good feel to it, Steve being on the club,” manager Buck Showalter said. I’ll be ready, appreciate the opportunity, it’s an honor to be in the big leagues.”’ Pearce made his major league debut in 2007 with Pittsburgh, and he’s also played for Houston and the New York Yankees, but he’s never hit like this.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 15th, 2014
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A triple play helped the Pittsburgh Pirates maintain their 1 1/2-game lead for the NL’s second wild card. Josh Harrison started Pittsburgh’s first triple play at home in 21 years and hit a tying two-run double in a six-run fifth inning Sunday as the Pirates rallied past the Chicago Cubs 7-3. ”It was fun,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ”You’ve got to pour some fun on everything you do, and we had more fun after the triple play.” Edinson Volquez (12-7) improved to 4-0 in his last 10 starts for the Pirates, who have won eight of their last 10 games.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 14th, 2014
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Javier Baez is learning, and Saturday was another good day for the touted prospect. Baez and fellow rookie Matt Szczur homered, and the Chicago Cubs snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Baez connected for a two-run shot in Chicago’s three-run third, and Szczur hit a leadoff drive in the eighth for his first career homer. It was Baez’s second homer in two nights and No. 9 on the season.

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 14th, 2014
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According to Brian McPherson of the Providence Journal , the rebuilding Boston Red Sox are set to unveil another piece of the team’s future. Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo is expected to be among Boston’s final September call-ups, and will likely debut on Tuesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Castillo, 27, signed a seven-year, $72 million contract with Boston on Aug. 22 . At the time, he was believed to be major league ready, but Boston decided to give him a couple weeks in the minor leagues to knock off some rust since he hadn’t appeared in an official game since Cuba’s 2012-13 season. Castillo has played at different levels of Boston’s system, including his current stint with the Pawtucket  Red Sox, who are now competing for the  Governors’ Cup to determine an International League champion.  Castillo was the hero in Game 4, driving home the game-winning run with a single in the 12th. The fifth and deciding game will be played on Saturday night.  In 10 minor league games, Castillo is hitting .273 with two doubles, four RBIs and one stolen base. It’s not clear how much playing time Castillo will receive initially. Boston currently has a logjam in the outfield that’s expected to be cleared up during the offseason. Castillo could still find himself competing for playing time with Jackie Bradley Jr. in 2015, but at some point figures to become a fixture alongside fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes. Known more for his speed and defense, Castillo could be the lightning to Cespedes’ thunder. Of course, it’s too early to know what Castillo’s floor or ceiling will be. What we do know for sure is that Castillo has exciting potential and he’s coming. We’ll get our first glimpse on Tuesday, and we’re certainly looking forward to it.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By GoBucs on September 13th, 2014
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