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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - Pedro Alvarez
The bagel next to Charlie Morton's record is gone. All it took was a little tinkering with the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup, a familiar face at the back of the bullpen and a right-fielder who is quickly achieving cult status.
The injury-ravaged Nationals threw out a lineup that included four players hitting .192 or worse. Getting opportunities wasn't an issue. Taking advantage of them was another matter entirely. Washington stranded at least one runner in every inning.
The Pittsburgh Pirates used three right fielders, including two had never played the outfield in a major league game before, and five relief pitchers.
The Pittsburgh Pirates probably thought they were in for another long night.
The Milwaukee Brewers' bullpen had been nearly unhittable in the early part of the season. That sure changed Thursday night.
Hitting was supposed to be the Pittsburgh Pirates' weakness coming into the season yet they lead the major leagues in home runs through the first 16 games of the season.
Kyle Lohse was eager to top his Milwaukee teammates.
Russell Martin struggled to recall the last time he witnessed such wacky production from his team's offense.
Anthony Rizzo congratulated Jason Hammel for his first National League win after the Chicago Cubs topped the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates had a four-run lead in the first inning and were up two runs after five.
The Cubs showed some fight in their 7-6 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday night, and manager Rick Renteria came away with some positives.
Shelby Miller still hasn't discovered a way to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pedro Alvarez mashed two home runs that traveled an estimated 831 feet Friday night.
Pedro Alvarez and Travis Ishikawa hit long home runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with all six players who had filed for arbitration, including third baseman Pedro Alvarez and second baseman Neil Walker.
"Obviously, (hitting the home run) feels really good," Alvarez said. "It kept us in the game, but of course anytime I can get a clutch hit for the team, to contribute to a W, it's huge."
"It is tough, but I understand," he said. "I've been around long enough to know that we need to win that game and keep the momentum going. I wanted to finish it, but I know that if I wanted to I needed to get that guy (McCuthchen) out."