Joel Hanrahan survives shaky ninth as Pirates snap seven-game losing streak

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Joel Hanrahan’s ninth inning against the Cubs this afternoon was painful to watch. Very painful. But the Pirates’ seven-game losing streak is over.

Hanrahan entered the bottom of the ninth inning with a 7-4 lead, but quickly gave up a double to Joe Mather and walked Darwin Barney. He got the first out of the inning after Anthony Rizzo flew out to right field, but then Alfonso Soriano singled to left to score Mather. After Starlin Castro flew out to right-center for the second out of the frame, Hanrahan walked consecutive batters to force in a run. But just before you could say, “here we go again,” Hanrahan struck out Dave Sappelt swinging to eke out a 7-6 victory. Ugly wins are better than an eighth straight loss.

Wandy Rodriguez allowed three runs (one earned) over six innings in the victory while Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a homer and two walks. The National League MVP candidate has four home runs in his last six games and 28 on the year. Neil Walker went 0-for-5 with a strikeout in his first start since August 26.

The Pirates now sit at 73-71 on the year, 2 1/2 games back of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. They need nine wins in their final 18 games to ensure their first winning season since 1992.

Yankees sign Brad Miller to minor league contract

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The Yankees announced on Monday that the club signed infielder Brad Miller to a minor league contract.

Miller, 29, was designated for assignment by the Indians last week. He wasn’t happy about that decision, saying, “Obviously, [the Indians] don’t want the best guys up here.”

Miller hit .250/.325/.417 with a homer and four RBI in 40 plate appearances with the Indians. The Indians have one of the worst offenses in the league and Miller was one of only a handful of players even hitting at a passable level, which did make his DFA all the more surprising.

The Yankees, decimated by injuries, need depth and Miller will provide that at the very least.