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‘Cannibalistic’ Central set to go to wire ☕


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Adam Frazier after his three-run home run last week against the Cubs. - AP

CHICAGO – Josh Bell smiled when asked about the second half of the season.

“It’s going to be fun,” the Pirates' All-Star first baseman said. “It’s going to be a battle in the National League Central.”

It’s shaping up that way. Just 4 1/2 games separate the division’s five teams as everyone gets back to action Friday after four days off for the All-Star break.

The Cubs (47-43) lead the Brewers (47-44) by 1/2 game, while the Cardinals (44-44) are two games back. The Pirates (44-45) are 2 1/2 games behind and the Reds (41-46) are 4 1/2 games back.

The Pirates begin the second half against the Cubs in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. It is the first of 40 games remaining inside the division for the Pirates – 13 against the Cardinals, 12 versus the Cubs, nine against the Reds and six versus the Brewers. Discussing that dynamic, Bell kept it short and sweet.

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