After winning the first game of a 4-game series vs. the Miami Marlins, the Pittsburgh Pirates finally looked like they hit their stride. After all, they had only lost 2 in their last 10 games and looked like they were about to close in on the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, that was Monday, and this is now.

The Pirates went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde and lost the next 3 games to the Marlins, with the most recent being a 4-3 13-inning affair that saw the Pirates fall to 29-24, and are now 8.5 games back from the Cubs in the division. What’s even worse is the fact that the Pirates also lost players to injury in OF Andrew McCutchen, 1B-3B David Freese, C Francisco Cervelli and SS Jordy Mercer.

If there’s any possible good news is the fact that if the MLB season ended today, the Pirates would still qualify for the postseason as a 2nd Wild Card as they would travel to New York to play the Mets. But as we know, October is still a long way off and there’s plenty of baseball left.

Here’s the recap of the final game between the Pirates and Marlins:

It took six innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates to record their first hit and the Miami Marlins went seven innings without one until they got one to end the game. Christian Yelich hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Marlins to a 4-3 victory over the Pirates on Thursday night to win the four-game series.

Yelich doubled to deep right-center field off A.J. Schugel (1-2) with two outs in the ninth to score Martin Prado from first without a throw home and tie the game at 3.

Nick Wittgren (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings in relief and struck out three to earn his first career victory.

Yelich’s hit was the first for the Marlins since the fourth inning.

Ichiro Suzuki had two hits, scored a run, stole a base, and had two impressive defensive plays in center field for the Marlins. He has 2,965 career hits moving into sole possession of 31st on MLB’s all-time hit list.

Pittsburgh had four players leave the game with injuries including Andrew McCutchen. Francisco Cervelli, David Freese and Jordy Mercer left after getting hit by pitches.

Pittsburgh won the first game of the series 10-0 on Monday before the Marlins won the final three, 3-1, 3-2 and 4-3. John Jaso hit a game-tying single with two outs in the top of the ninth on a 3-2 pitch from Kyle Barraclough.

Marlins starter Wei-Yen Chen didn’t allow a hit until the seventh inning with the Marlins leading 3-0. Jung Ho Kang doubled to lead off the seventh breaking up Chen’s no-hit bid. Chen walked the next batter ending his night.

Both runners scored on a two-out, two-run double by Matt Joyce off Dustin McGowan to cut the Pirates’ deficit to 3-2.

Chen pitched six innings, allowed one hit and two runs. He walked five and struck out three.

Suzuki helped keep the no-hitter intact with a diving catch in right-center field in the second taking a hit away from Juan Nicasio and he made a leaping catch against the center field wall on a fly ball hit by Kang.

It was the second consecutive day a Marlins pitched held the Pirates without a hit to start the game. Adam Conley did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. Miguel Rojas’ squeeze bunt opened the scoring for Miami.

Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double and J.T. Realmuto’s sacrifice fly pushed the Marlins’ lead to 3-0 in the third. Nicasio allowed three runs in six innings.

Other MLB scores: San Francisco beat Atlanta 6-0, the Cubs beat the LA Dodgers 7-2, Milwaukee beat Philadelphia 4-1, and Cincinnati beat Colorado 11-4. In the American League, Minnesota beat Tampa Bay 6-4, the NY Yankees beat Detroit 5-4, Cleveland beat KC 5-4, Baltimore beat Boston 12-7 and in Interleague play, Arizona beat Houston 3-0.

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The NBA Finals-The Cleveland Cavaliers were pumped up, they looked battle tested as they breezed through the Eastern Conference en route to another NBA Finals rematch vs. the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. You know, the team who won a historic 73 wins this season.

Funny thing is, the Warriors proved that they were pumped up and ready as well, especially after coming back from a 3-1 deficit vs, the OKC Thunder. 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry and Co. proved that they weren’t fazed by the Cavs yet again as they beat them 104-89 in Game 1 of the Best-of-Seven Series that began at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California.

Draymond Green had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, Shaun Livingston scored a personal postseason best of 20 and Golden State’s bench came up big as the Warriors beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 on Thursday night to move three wins from a repeat title.

The Splash Brothers? They totaled – gasp! – 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting, each knocking down a late 3-pointer.

Golden State’s bench outscored the Cavs’ reserves 45-10 in the opener of this finals rematch, which the Warriors reached even with Curry missing six games with injuries in the postseason. Game 2 is Sunday night back at Oracle Arena, and James knows Cleveland must adjust immediately.

In a series with so much star power on both sides, this was a night for Livingston and fellow reserves Leandro Barbosa and Andre Iguodala. Barbosa returned from a minor back injury to shoot 5 for 5 on the way to 11 points, while 2015 finals MVP Iguodala had 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists and some stingy defense on James.

It made for a strong start while surrounded by those thousands of golden yellow ”Strength in Numbers” T-shirts worn by the raucous fans throughout sold-out Oracle.

James kicked off his sixth straight finals with 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, but cold-shooting Cleveland went 38.1 percent from the floor. Kyrie Irving, lost to a devastating knee injury in a Game 1 overtime defeat last year, scored 26 points, 11 on free throws.

Iguodala had moved into the starting lineup Monday for the Game 7 clincher against Oklahoma City with a primary duty of defending Kevin Durant, but went back to the bench and played 36 minutes Thursday. He shook his head in delight after a two-handed slam off a pass from Curry with 5:44 left and didn’t let an aggravating, hard hit to the groin by Matthew Dellavedova derail his focus for the final quarter.

Kerr stuck with regular starter Harrison Barnes, and he delivered 13 points. Curry had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Thompson scored nine points.

Kevin Love made an impressive finals debut with 17 points and 13 rebounds after missing last year’s run with a dislocated shoulder that required surgery. His basket with 3:57 left in the third put the Cavs ahead before Green’s dunk moments later.

With 34.1 seconds left in the third, Iguodala took issue with Dellavedova’s swat into his groin that after review was ruled a personal foul and no flagrant. Iguodala knocked down a 3-pointer less than 8 seconds later and Golden State took a 74-68 lead into the final 12 minutes.

Livingston, whose remarkable comeback from a potentially career-ending left knee injury nine years ago has so inspired Kerr and many others, made a key follow shot late in the third on the way to his first 20-point performance in the postseason.

James has scored 20 or more points in a career-best 25 straight playoff games, topping his previous mark of 24 in a row from May 12, 2008, to April 25, 2010.

In other NBA news: The NY Knicks officially hired Jeff Hornacek as their next Head Coach Thursday. The former NBA player also coached this past season with the Phoenix Suns. A news conference to announce the hiring will be held Friday.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter



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