Some Pirates fans were surprised this spring when Josh Rodriguez beat out Pedro Ciriaco for a roster spot, claiming the club's backup middle infielder role. Part of the reason Rodriguez won out was roster flexibility.
Ciriaco has minor league options remaining, while Rodriguez, a Rule 5 draft pick, must stick with the major league club all year or be offered back to the Cleveland Indians for half of the $50,000 pri
Pitt finally returns to the football field after a tumultuous offseason that saw four coaches lead the program over a period of six weeks; Penn State tried to rebound from a disappointing season and bad blow loss; and West Virginia ushers in a new era... at least partly. PSR breaks down what to expect from spring football in Oakland, Happy Valley and Morgantown.
Last season, the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation couldn't make batters whiff. Bucs starters finished dead last in the National League in strikeouts per nine innings pitched, a problem made worse by lousy leather behind those hurlers.
Pittsburgh was last in the majors in Defensive Efficiency, which measures the percentage of balls put in play converted into outs.
Pedro Alvarez drive in Neil Walker and Garrett Jones with an infield single off closer Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning and the Pirates rallied for a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Cubs to take two of three in the opening series of the season.
Neil Walker hit a grand slam, Andrew McCutchen also homered and Kevin Correia pitched into the seventh inning Friday as the Pittsburgh Pirates started the season under new manager Clint Hurdle with a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Before the first game of the 2011 season, Neil Walker watched Robert Redford throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field.
Martin St. Louis scored his 30th goal of the season, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning clinch their first playoff berth since 2007 with a 2-1 victory over the Penguins on Thursday night. Pittsburgh got a goal from Mike Rupp.
Tampa Bay 2 - Pittsburgh 1 St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL
James Neal scored in the shootout to lift the Penguins to a 5-4 win over Detroit. The Pens blew a 4-0 lead but picked up a much-needed two points in their first game without the suspended Matt Cooke. Pascal Dupuis scored twice for Pittsburgh.
Penguins 5 - Red Wings 4 Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
"Eye of the Tiger" blares on the loudspeakers as the Duquesne Dukes, tied for first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference heading into a February 13 showdown with Xavier, sprint on to the court. The raucous CONSOL Energy Center crowd of 10,509, largest for a non-Pitt opponent at home since 1973, is audible from Duquesne's campus a few blocks away.
The Dukes' once-drowsy student section totes giant headshots of Bill Clark, T.J. McConnell -- and Betty White.
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