Madison Bumgarner hit his fifth homer of the season and Marlon Byrd drilled his 20th in his first game with the defending World Series champions , as San Francisco held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 on Friday night to climb within 1 1/2 games of the Dodgers for first in the NL West.
Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Aramis Ramirez has only fielded third base in his 18 Major League seasons, but that may change in what could be his final season.
Ramirez will start taking ground balls at first base on Friday. If all goes well, he could field the position for the Pittsburgh Pirates before the end of the season.
"Whatever it takes for us to win, I'm willing to do," Ramirez said.
Ramirez, 37, has appeared in 2,078 games at third base. He also was the designated hitter in 26 games when he played for the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.
“I don't really know what to expect (at first base),” Ramirez said. “It's not going to be easy, put it that way. Talking with Pedro (Alvarez), I know there's a lot that's different between playing third and first.”
Ramirez's playing time at third will be scaled back when Josh Harrison comes off the disabled list around the end of the month.
The Pirates didn't enter the final day before the trade deadline looking for a starting pitcher, but the state of A.J. Burnett's elbow quickly made them change their mind.
The Pirates acquired left-hander J.A. Happ the Mariners on Friday after Burnett complained of elbow pain and was placed on the 15-day DL with inflammation following his third straight rough outing.
Pittsburgh also picked up Michael Morse from the Dodgers, hoping Morse's proven right-handed bat will give the Pirates a platoon option at first base to complement left-handed Pedro Alvarez.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to acquire Joakim Soria from the Detroit Tigers.
Pittsburgh will send a Minor League player to Detroit for the reliever, according to a report.
The Kansas City Royals have traded Joe Blanton to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
Blanton, 34, was designated for assignment in the wake of Kansas City's trade for Johnny Cueto.
He was 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA in four starts and 11 relief appearances this season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have considered trading for Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino of the Boston Red Sox.
Napoli has struggled offensively, but could be a nice addition defensively at first base for the Pirates.
Gerrit Cole became the majors' first 14-game winner, leading the Pirates to a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Sunday, according to an Yahoo.com report.
Cole (14-4) allowed one run and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings while improving to 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA in four July starts. The right-hander struck out eight and walked none.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are working on a trade to bolster their bullpen.
Pittsburgh acquired Aramis Ramirez from the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday afternoon.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired Aramis Ramirez from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league right-hander Yhonathan Barrios and cash considerations.
Pittsburgh will reportedly pay $3 million of the $5.74 million that remains on Ramirez's $14 million salary.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have expressed interest in acquiring Ben Zobrist, Clint Barmes and Cliff Pennington with Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer sidelined.
Since coming off the disabled list on May 26, Zobrist is hitting .264/.358/.429 in 190 plate appearances for the Oakland Athletics.
Zobrist, Barmes and Pennington will all hit the free agent market after the season.
Barmes spent time with the Pirates from 2012 to 2014.