The Pittsburgh Pirates needed an extra day, but they were able to finish their series with the Colorado Rockies by beating them 6-3 Monday afternoon. It was a makeup game because their match up Sunday was finally postponed because of a rain delay that lasted almost 4 hours.

But the victory certainly wasn’t without its concerns as starting P Ryan Vogelsong was carted off the field after getting struck in the head by a pitch in the second inning. With the bases loaded and Pittsburgh leading 1-0, Colorado starter Jordan Lyles (1-2) hit Vogelsong in the left cheek with a 92 mph fastball.

Vogelsong pitched two scoreless innings before getting injured, holding Colorado to two hits and getting two strikeouts on 34 pitches. The Pirates later said he was admitted to the hospital for injuries to his left eye. Vogelsong was replaced by Wilfredo Boscan (1-0), who got the win in relief.

Boscan earned his first career win, allowing two runs on two hits in 4 innings. He also contributed with his bat, hitting an RBI single in his first career plate appearance in the bottom of the third. Mark Melancon pitched the final two outs of the ninth to collect his 15th save of the season.

Pittsburgh took an early lead on Lyles and never looked back. Besides hitting Vogelsong, the right-hander walked three, allowed two stolen bases, threw a wild pitch and gave up six runs over 2 1/3 innings. All of the damage came in the second and third innings, when the Pirates had six singles from five different hitters.

Pirates 2B Josh Harrison went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI in the win. Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez snapped a 0-for-17 streak at the plate. He finished the afternoon 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and scored on a D.J. LeMahieu sacrifice fly in the ninth.

The Pirates won 2 out of 3 from the Rockies, beating them 2-1 in Friday, and losing the second game 5-1 and Monday’s 6-3 win. They remain in 2nd place in the National League Central Division, suddenly closing in on a once-hot Chicago Cubs team. If the season ended today, the Pirates would miss the playoffs due to trailing the NY Mets and Philadelphia Phillies-but only by a half a game.

The Pirates will now continue their home stand as they prepare to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks starting Tuesday.  Francisco Liriano (3-3, 4.63 ERA) will take the mound looking to shake off back-to-back losses.

In addition to Voglesong, 3B Jung Ho Kang was held out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive day with a left hand injury. He pinch-hit for Boscan in the sixth inning, flying out to left-center field. He is expected to start on Tuesday.

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Durant scored 33 points, Westbrook had 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, and Oklahoma City rolled to a 133-105 victory on Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors, who set an NBA record with 73 victories in the regular season, trailed by 41 points, their largest deficit this season. Durant made 10 of 15 shots and Westbrook was 10 of 19. It was the first time this postseason both players shot better than 50 percent from the field.

Serge Ibaka added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who matched a franchise record for most points scored in a playoff game. Oklahoma City outrebounded the Warriors in its Game 1 victory, but the Warriors won the battle of the boards in Game 2 and beat the Thunder 118-91. Oklahoma City reasserted its dominance on the glass on Sunday, outrebounding Golden State 52-38.

Golden State will be in an uncomfortable position heading into Game 4 on Tuesday in Oklahoma City, but the Warriors remain confident. Golden State trailed Memphis and Cleveland 2-1 in playoff series last year and won both on its way to claiming the NBA title.

The last time Golden State’s Stephen Curry had played in Oklahoma City, he scored 46 points, tied an NBA record with 12 3-pointers and hit a game-winning, 37-footer. This time, the league MVP finished with 24 points on 7-for-17 shooting. Klay Thompson added 18 points on 8-for-19 shooting.

Golden State’s Draymond Green, who kicked Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams in the groin and has become Thunder Fans’ No. 1 target because of some questionable tactics, struggled on both ends of the floor and finished with six points on 1-for-9 shooting. The Warriors were outscored by 43 points when he was in the game.

With 5:57 left in the second quarter, Green kicked Adams after a foul. It was the second time in the series Green hit Adams there – he hit him with a knee in Game 2. The crowd chanted ”Kick him out! Kick him out!” but Green was issued a flagrant 1 foul and remained in the game. Green said he wasn’t trying to hurt Adams.

Seemingly energized after Green’s foul, the Thunder outscored the Warriors 24-7 the rest of the half, with many of the baskets coming against Green. In a play that summarized the second quarter perfectly, Green went in for a layup and got it blocked by Durant, then Durant made a 3-pointer on the other end to give the Thunder a 64-47 lead.

Green fouled Westbrook on a long 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in the first half. Westbrook made all three free throws to put the Thunder up 72-47 at the break. Durant had 23 points on 6-for-10 shooting and 10 of 10 free throws in the first half, and Westbrook had 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds at the break. It was the most points scored against the Warriors in any half this season. Curry shot 4 for 13 in the first half, Thompson went 5 for 14 and Green 1 for 8.

The Thunder continued the onslaught by making 17 of 22 shots in the third quarter to take a 117-80 lead into the fourth.

In NHL News: The Pittsburgh Penguins are now in trouble, as they face elimination after losing a 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in OT Sunday night. The Penguins had led 2-0 and 3-2 before the defending Eastern Conference Champions struck back and eventually won the game. Penguins G Marc Andre-Fleury made his first start in this year’s NHL Playoffs and gave up all 4 goals including the game-winner to Tampa Bay’s Jason Garrison.

Big Shout out to Pitt Athlete and running back James Conner who is now cancer free.  Conner announce today on twitter.


Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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