Pirates beat reporter Rob Biertempfel 's inside look at Wednesday's game:
• Twenty Rays games have been decided by a shutout (nine wins, 11 losses). That's tied with the Cardinals (14-6) for most in the majors. Tampa's nine shutout victories are tied with the Blue Jays for second-most in the AL behind the Rangers (13). It's also the Rays' most shutouts wins ever through the first 76 games of the season. The Rays' 11 shutout losses are tied with the Padres for most in the majors.
• LHP Cesar Ramos threw 21⁄3 perfect innings vs. the Pirates on Monday and is emerging as a key piece of the Rays' bullpen. In the sixth inning, he struck out Pedro Alvarez, Travis Snider and Jordy Mercer on 10 pitches. Ramos has allowed one run over his past eight appearances (122⁄3 innings).
Two of Vanderbilt's most famous alumni, Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez and Rays pitcher David Price, are keeping a close eye on their alma mater's College World Series showdown against Virginia. In the school's history, Vandy has won only one NCAA national title: 2007 women's bowling.
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