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Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

| Monday, July 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Those Battlin' Bucs: The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to tear it up. The Bucs extended their National League Central lead to two games over St. Louis with Sunday's 14-inning, series-sweeping win over Milwaukee. And they continue to be the No. 1 team in Major League Baseball as they prepare to host Philadelphia (beginning tonight) for a three-game series closing on Independence Day. The Pirates hope to extend their winning streak to 10. See, all that Green Weenie talk really helped.

Battlin' the crowds: The Pirates aren't the only game in town this week, of course. The Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta bows today. Coupled with the Bucs and the normal Fourth of July festivities, that's a recipe for a packed Downtown. Thus, a large dose of patience will be required. Defensive driving (and walking and parking and tailgating) will be a must. But keep those South Side Salutes holstered. If everybody minds their Ps and Qs, so to speak, everyone should have a grand time.

A word of caution: Fireworks are part and parcel to this week's holiday. And, sadly, there will be tales of fireworks accidents, never mind that just about every type of firework is illegal in Pennsylvania. If you must still engage in the bang-bang and boom-boom, allow the byword to be “safety.” Otherwise, leave it to the professionals to shoot off the fireworks. And it's not as if we have a dearth of fireworks displays 'round these parts.

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