MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates press on after ending 'streak'

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 10:27 p.m. MDT

Pittsburgh Pirates' Justin Morneau, right, gestures to pitcher Milwaukee Brewers' Wily Peralta after being hit by a pitch during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Associated Press

Toast them with a bottle of Iron City. Wear that 1970s-era Pittsburgh painter's cap with pride. Celebrate the end of "The Streak."

Just don't expect the Pirates to join in the fun. There's an NL Central title to win.

The Pirates ended their 20-year run of losing baseball Tuesday night, reaching the 81-win mark with a 4-3 victory at Miller Park.

"I've won 81 games before, and this team is going to win more than 81 games. A lot more," newly acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd said before Wednesday night's game at Milwaukee.

Win No. 82 will have to wait.

The Pirates lost 9-3 in game interrupted for a couple minutes in the fifth after Brewers starter Wily Peralta (9-14) plunked left-handed cleanup hitter Justin Morneau in the forearm following Andrew McCutchen's 19th homer of the year.

Morneau slowly walked to first and gestured to Peralta. The benches emptied and relievers scurried in from bullpens as far as short right and left, but the umpires quickly took control and the teams never got close to making any physical contact.

Still, the determined Pirates showed some spunk.

"It's about changing the culture, and they've done that the past two years," Byrd said. "This was inevitable that this team was going to get to this point."

More perspective on the two-decade run of misery since 1992:

The Pirates were 1,374-1,796 during the streak for a .437 winning percentage.

The Penguins and Steelers had seven losing seasons combined during that period.

The franchise went through three ownership groups and seven managers, including current skipper Clint Hurdle.

BRING YOUR CHICKEN TO WORK DAY: Prior to Wednesday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Cleveland Indians made friends with a different kind of bird.

Pitcher Justin Masterson carried a live chicken on to the field for the team's pregame drills. The bird, supplied by one of the Indians' clubhouse workers from an area farm, spent most of batting practice standing with Cleveland's pitchers in front of the warning track in center field.

The chicken, unfazed by its surroundings, stood calmly on the field while balls hit during batting practice fell nearby. Several curious players came by to observe the chicken, which was picked up by pitchers Cody Allen and Rich Hill and then carried off the field when the drills concluded.

The chicken was a gift to Allen, and has been given the name "Cody."

LOS ANGELES ANGELES WILL BE "OF ANAHEIM" FOR 3 MORE YEARS: Anaheim officials have extended the stay of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the city by at least three years and hope to use the time to strike new deals to keep the team in place even longer. The City Council voted Tuesday 4-1 to delay the Angels' option to leave the city from 2016 to 2019.

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