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Wednesday's scouting report: Pirates at Cardinals

| Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 7:18 p.m.

X-factors

• Remember a couple of seasons ago (or even in April) when it seemed the Pirates couldn't win on the road? Things have picked up considerably. Wednesday will be the Pirates' 42nd of 82 road games this season. After starting the year 5-14 away from PNC Park, the Pirates went 13-8 (going into Tuesday's game at Busch Stadium). The Pirates' .512 road winning percentage since the start of the 2013 season ranks third in the NL behind the Dodgers (.583) and Cardinals (.520). Still, the Pirates are scoring 3.65 rpg and allowing 4.15 rpg on the road.

• It was almost a year ago that Brandon Cumpton made what is arguarbly the most pressure-packed and impressive start of his young big league career. On July 30, 2013, Cumpton tossed seven shutout innings against the Cardinals in a 6-0 victory that completed a doubleheader sweep at PNC Park. Cumpton gave up three hits, walked one and struck out five.

The Buzz

After finding out before Sunday's game that he was chosen for the NL All-Star squad, Tony Watson phoned his father back in Iowa. Watson gave his dad, Steve Watson, strict instructions not to tell anyone until after MLB released the news. The elder Watson kept mum, even when a neighbor pried for info. “It was not difficult (to stay quiet),” Steve Watson told the Des Moins Register.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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