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ice ended with Ryan
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 Ty Montgomery 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- 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 3 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,” 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 Darius Leonard Color Rush Jersey ,” 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.
The Atlanta Falcons couldn't wait to show the biggest crowd to attend one of their practices their stadium's fully functioning retractable roof.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof was closed for all but one Falcons regular-season game in the facility's 2017 debut season. The Falcons proved the roof is now ready for action by opening and closing the structure before Sunday's rare stadium-based training camp practice.
"It was cool to see it open today, for sure," said quarterback Matt Ryan.
All the same, Ryan was grateful to see the eight massive petals on the camera lens-like retractable design close again. After practicing in the heat for the first two days of training camp, cool temperatures for an indoor session were a welcome change.
"We weren't mad that we were in air conditioning today for training camp," he said, smiling.
Coach Dan Quinn said he is looking forward to more open-air home games this season.
"How many times in this part of the country have we all driven to the stadium and said 'Man, this would be one awesome day to have it open,'" Quinn said. "I think that will be a really significant part of the fan experience here."
The Falcons said more than 60,000 tickets were distributed for the practice. The team called the practice a sellout, even though there were empty seats, because all the tickets available Youth Alex McGough Jersey , at $5 each, were sold. The Falcons said it was a team record for a training camp practice.
The large turnout led Falcons owner Arthur Blank to remember the Falcons holding training camp at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, when he bought the team in 2001.
"A huge day was 200 people," Blank said. "We don't practice normally at MBS, but it's incredible. I think it's a great tribute to the fan base, a great tribute to the organization and the relationship we've built with the fans. I'm thrilled to be here today to watch it and enjoy it."
Sunday was the team's first practice in pads. Quinn said his players always are motivated by the first practice when hitting is allowed. He said it was an extra perk for the players to practice before a much bigger crowd than can attend training camp at the team's practice facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia, about an hour north of downtown Atlanta.
"When I told them what we were doing, they were really pumped to hear how many people would be here for practice today," Quinn said. "It does add an element of excitement where the performance for practice ramps up a little more with so many fans here."
After seeing their scoring offense decline from No. 1 in the NFL in 2016 to No. 15 last season, the Falcons put an emphasis on running plays inside the 20 in their 11-on-11 drills.
The practice ended with Ryan scrambling to his left and passing to Mohamed Sanu for a touchdown.
NOTES: DE Takkarist McKinley was held out with a bruised right shoulder. He has had surgeries on both shoulders the past two years. "We'll see what it looks like for tomorrow," Quinn said before adding McKinley could have other scheduled days off in the next two weeks. RB Ito Smith (foot) and OT Ty Sambrailo (right hand) also are considered day to day after being held out. WR Calvin Ridley, who had a minor hamstring injury on Saturday, practiced and showed no sign of the injury. ... Training camp returns to the team's practice facility on Monday before a day off on Tuesday.
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