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Youth movement propels Bucs to 10-4 thrashing of Washington

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Adam Frazier went 3 for 5 with four RBI, while Josh Bell added another home run, as the Pirates' offense pushed Tyler Glasnow and Pittsburgh to a 10-4 victory over the Washington Nationals, taking two of three games from one of the hottest team's in baseball.

And my youth I pray to keep.

The late, great, never-duplicated Mount Rushmore member of grunge, Mr. Chris Cornell captures the theme of the Pirates’ 10-4 throttling of Washington (25-15) with those simple words.

The young crowd was the much needed crowd, as Adam Frazier, Alen Hanson and Josh Bell combined for five hits and six RBIs in the romping of pitcher Tanner Roark, who, in Spoonman fashion, was outclassed and outperformed, surrendering seven earned runs in the five-inning losing outing that closed a successful weekday series win for the Bucs at PNC Park.

Frazier (3 for 5) rocked from the leadoff spot, corralling four RBIs, including a two-run double in the sixth, which would later result in the left fielder scoring himself, giving the Bucs’ a commanding 8-4 lead.

The sophomore lefty (.347) has been able to handle himself from both sides of the plate so far this year, tallying to a 19-hit total against righty’s after his dominating day against Roark.

“I’m just trying to do what I can.  It is still 95 to 100 coming at you most of the time.  I don’t get caught up in that stuff most of the time.  A lefty is a lefty and a righty is a righty.  You still have to have the same approach.  I’m just about getting on base and helping this team right now, no matter who I’m facing.”

Pittsburgh (18-23) took two of three from the hot Nats, hanging a combined 16 runs on the visitor in the last two games combined.

Josh Bell, who operated from the cleanup spot for the first time in his Major League career Wednesday, opened the scoring for the Pirates, taking a 3-2 Roark slider 402 feet right-center, marking his team-leading ninth blast of the year, and his second in consecutive days.

“It was just a slider that started in the right spot for me.  It was definitely a nasty pitch,” said Bell of the pitch that led to his home run.  “I got my barrel too it, stayed through it and kept it fair.”

Bell talked about he and the young guys making a difference for the Pirates this season.

“It’s definitely cool,” the first baseman said.  “It is icing on the cake, knowing that we belong here, and knowing that our hard work is paying off.  It is cool to see us coming through for the team.”

Rookie Tyler Glasnow also provided a strong game in a youthful presence, collecting a win on five solid innings of work, allowing just two earned runs, while striking out six.  The rookie held Washington’s 1-5 of the order hitless, including Bryce Harper, who Glasnow struck out twice.

“I felt good.  Better than last time, and small improvements here and there.  It’s a positive,” said Glasnow, who is now 2-3 on the season with a 7.34 ERA.  “That was a really good lineup.  They are one of the better offensive team’s in the league, and I think that kind of motivates me a little more.  It was good to go out there and only give up three hits and compete the whole time.”

Glasnow ran into a self-induced jam in the fourth when the pitcher fielded a ball but threw it out of reach from Bell, allowing Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters to score.  Trea Turner flew out to John Jaso to end the threat.

“I thought there was some improvements,” said Clint Hurdle of Glasnow.  “The first-pitch strikes, the pitch sequences, I thought were cleaner and sharper.  The biggest gaffe today was not being able to field his position.  After the fourth, after the throwing the ball away, he was able to reset and go out (in the fifth) and throw efficient pitches.”

Been Away Too Long

John Jaso found a pulse Wednesday, going 1 for 3 with a big time 430-foot solo shot to left-center in the fifth inning, breaking a 4-4 tie.  Though hitting a brutal .156, the right fielder/first baseman has shown promise in the series, walking five times, going 2 for 9 from the plate.

“I feel good about the way that I’m approaching things, but obviously, the results I’m not really happy about.  Everybody goes through slumps, it doesn’t matter who you are.  Minor leagues, Big leagues, it’s a grind.  You just keep playing and move on to the next day.  You don’t carry those bad vibes with you from whatever happened before.  You just keep going.”

Ultramega OK

The heat from Andrew McCutchen’s bat is starting to cook, as the center fielder had another multi-hit day (2 for 5), bumping his average to .220.  ‘Cutch went 4 for 13 against the Nats with two RBIs and two stolen bases.  #22 is a lifetime .330 hitter against Washington.

My Wave

You Fell on Black Days if you didn’t ride the over wave, which has covered in three of the last five Pirates’ games, including the 9.5 total that was crushed Wednesday by 14 total runs. 

The Bucs came in as +125 underdogs, marking all but just one start in Glasnow’s career where Pittsburgh hasn’t come in as pre-game dogs. 

Power Trip

The Pirates will look to keep the offensive power-attack flowing, as they host Philadelphia in a weekend series starting Friday.  Trevor Williams (2-2, 6.41 ERA) will face off against Jeremy Hellickson (4-1, 3.71 ERA).  First pitch is set for 7:05.

For a lot of young student-athletes, sports are essentially a hobby. They represent an activity to boost a college résumé or a tool to stay active. But for many young athletes, sports mean much more.
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