The Pittsburgh Pirates begin a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves tonight at PNC Park. First pitch is 7:05pm. WISR airtime is 6:40pm. Steven Brault will start for the Pirates.
The Pirates are 28-30 and five back in the National League Central and have lost two games in a row. The Braves are 32-28 and a game behind Philadelphia in the NL East and have won two in a row.
Pirates first baseman Josh Bell was named the National League Player of the Month Monday. Bell led all Major League players in total bases (94), hits (46), extra-base hits (24) and RBI (31) during the month. He also shared the lead with 12 home runs, which tied the club record for most HR hit during the month of May (Jason Bay in May of 2006).
Other highlights of the month:
–Bell also set the club record for most total bases (94) during ANY month of the season; the previous mark was held by Hall-of-Famer Ralph Kiner (92 in June of 1947). He produced the most total bases (94) by any Major League hitter during the month of May since Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays had 102 in 1958.
–Josh Bell became the third player in National League history to produce at least 12 doubles and 12 home runs in any calendar month of the baseball season, joining Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron in July of 1961 and Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson in July of 1961.
–Tied the club record for most extra-base hits (24) in ANY month of a baseball season. Hall-of-Famer Paul Waner established the club record with 24 extra-base hits in June of 1927 and matched it with 24 in August of 1928.
–Finished the month of May with a .390 batting average, 12 homers and 31 RBI. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no player in Pirates history had that high of an average with that many homers and RBI in a month