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Bucs creating early buzz in Pittsburgh

The Sports Xchange
 
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Bucs creating early buzz in Pittsburgh
 

Some in Pittsburgh have begun to get a bit excited about the Pirates. Or, at the least, there is excitement in the context of watching a young team trying to turn around a franchise that has lost for 18 consecutive years, including a 57-105 disaster in 2010.

Most of that is due to a lineup that has looked livelier than any in four years, one that battled back from a four-run deficit Sunday to take a brief lead before losing to Colorado, 6-5.

It was another loss, sure, and the team's record fell to 5-5. But there seemed to be a mostly positive vibe in the clubhouse afterward.

"We came back," left fielder Jose Tabata said after reaching base three more times. "That felt good."

"In the past, maybe that game is over early on," second baseman Neil Walker said. "But we kept coming, and you could feel that there was a lot of confidence that we would."

The most encouraging part, some players maintained, is that the offense still has not clicked on all cylinders: Pedro Alvarez, counted on for major run production, is batting .195. The right-field platoon due of Matt Diaz (.200) and Garrett Jones (.172) is faring even worse. Ronny Cedeno is at .179. Almost all of the production has come from Tabata, Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Lyle Overbay, the Nos. 1-4 hitters.

"You know those guys are going to hit," Tabata said. "Diaz kills lefties, and Jones is great against righties. We have lots of guys who can hit."

The Pirates, off Monday, will return to action Tuesday against visiting Milwaukee in hopes of seeing more than just the top of the order contributing.

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