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Pirates face down long road, fly back 7-4


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Cole Tucker and Gregory Polanco celebrate victory Sunday in San Diego - AP

SAN DIEGO – This was supposed to be the road trip that exposed the Pirates.

Three cities. 11 games. Three opponents with winning records.

There was seemingly no way the Pirates could navigate this trip successfully. Things looked particularly dire after the Pirates built a five-run lead after seven innings but lost 9-7 to the Rangers on May 9 in their most recent home game. It seemed worse after the Cardinals walloped them 17-4 on the first game of the trip in St. Louis.

Yet the Pirates not only survived on the road, but thrived. They went 7-4 by taking three of four from both the Cardinals and Padres, while dropping two of three to the Diamondbacks in Arizona in the middle series.

Sunday, the Pirates capped the trip on a high note with a 6-4 victory against the Padres at Petco Park. That pushed the Pirates four games over .500 at 24-20, taking the final three games in the series.

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