Back where we started: The Pirates are, once again, below .500

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The Pirates were below .500 on May 29th. Then they figured out their offense, rode A.J. Burnett and some other unexpectedly good arms for a while and put a run on that had everyone in Pittsburgh thinking not only a winning season, but a playoff season. Indeed, they were 16 games over .500 at one point.

And then they stopped winning.  They lost to the Brewers today 9-7 and now stand at 74-75.

They had a chance in this one. They were up 7-4 heading into the eighth when Rickie Weeks hit a tying two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on Aramis Ramirez’s single in the eighth inning. Credit Chad Qualls and Chris Resop with the meltdown.

Pittsburgh has lost 11 of 13. They’re staring their 20th straight year of losing records in the face.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.