Andrew McCutchen stayed on the bench all afternoon, AJ Burnett gave up five runs, and Kyle Farnsworth was the Pirates' closer.
Despite all that, the Pirates finished up a sweep of the Texas Rangers (who need wins every bit as badly as the Pirates do right now) with a 7-5 win this afternoon that was at least a little bit easier than last night's white-knuckler. I meanm, yes, the Pirates did very nearly blow a 4-0 lead for the second game in a row, and yes, the bullpen was harrowing despite not technically allowing any runs (Jeanmar Gomez allowed two inherited runners to score, then Bryan Morris put on two of the three hitters he faced before Vin Mazzaro put his fire out), but the Pirates scored three insurance runs (one of them on a Clint Barmes homer!) and Farnsworth only needed ten pitches to record his first save since 2011.
With the win, the Pirates are 84-61 heading into the last homestand of the year. That homestand will see a four-game set against the Cubs, a four-gamer against the Padres, and three games against the Reds. The Reds trounced the Cubs this afternoon, so the Pirates' lead over them remains at two games. The Cardinals and Brewers are starting in about a half an hour, and if the Brewers can somehow find a way to win, the Pirates will return home in a first place tie. Given where things were on Sunday afternoon, the Pirates are in a pretty good place for now.