Pirates

Pirates, Marlins reversing courses in pivotal weekend series

Andrew McCutchen walks down the dugout steps after striking out in the ninth inning. — MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Leave it to Don Mattingly to capture the essence of this two-thirds-complete weekend series between the Pirates and Marlins at PNC Park, and postseason-relevant baseball in general.

"Things change quickly," Donnie Baseball said Saturday night after Miami won its second straight, 3-1, to jump a half-game ahead of the Pirates in the wild card pursuit. "We come out of Cincinnati and everybody's not feeling great and you guys are asking questions if we're fading or whatever. Two days later, you feel like you have a good club here and you can do some things. That's this time of year. It's gonna keep happening. Hopefully for someone else."

It's a nice thought, but considering where both teams stand about 80 percent of the way through the season, chances are they continue to follow volatile paths.

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Mattingly's Marlins flew to town having dropped four consecutive series and eight of 13 overall, putting them behind Clint Hurdle's club, which had won four series in a row and five of six on a California trip. But after two galvanizing wins in Miami, all from earlier in the month is forgotten.

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