Pittsburgh Pirates players purchased 400 pizzas to support hospital workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospitals and staff in the United States and across the world have been working tirelessly to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

With the start of the MLB season postponed, Pirates players were determined to give back to the Pittsburgh community, so they bought pizzas from two local businesses and delivered them to Allegheny General Hospital on Monday.

"We might not be in Pittsburgh, and we don't have the opportunity to play in front of our fans and for all of us to be up in the city that's kind of become a second home to us and that's treated us so well," Pirates player representative Jameson Taillon said.

"We know local businesses are getting crushed and they're really hurting and they're really affected by what's going on. Then obviously, the hospitals and the staff working on the front lines there, they're putting in extra hours, extra work, exposing themselves.

"We thought this was a way to help. Two birds with one stone. We can help local restaurants. We can help the hospitals and the workers and show our appreciation."

Taillon added: "It was one of those things that we didn't have to talk about for too long. We started throwing the idea around, and everyone got excited and made it happen.

"Everyone was just like, 'Let's all put our money together and come up with something'. They just wanted to get something done to help out."

Coronavirus has resulted in more than 16,550 casualties worldwide, with over 381,650 cases.

In the United States, at least 580 people have died from more than 46,100 cases.

The Pittsburgh Pirates appointed Derek Shelton as manager, the MLB franchise announced on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh turned to Shelton after Clint Hurdle was sacked in September following the franchise's worst season (69-93) since 2010.

Shelton arrives in Pittsburgh for his first managerial role, having spent the past two campaigns as the Minnesota Twins' bench coach.

"My family and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pittsburgh community and are humbled to be a part of this storied franchise," said the 49-year-old, who also spent time working with the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.

"One of the most exciting things for me during the interview process was just how evident the passion for Pittsburgh and the desire to succeed was with everyone I interacted with.

"I very much look forward to developing a strong partnership with [general manager] Ben [Cherington] and the baseball operations staff. It is going to be an exciting change of culture in our clubhouse. It is going to be a fun environment in which we will all be held accountable to each other.

"It will be a player-centric culture built on strong communication and relationships with our players, our staff and the entire organisation. We will begin to establish those relationships this offseason prior to coming together as a team in Bradenton this February."

Pittsburgh Pirates have delayed their search for a new coach after firing general manager Neal Huntington.

It has been a tumultuous offseason for the MLB side, who have elected to relieve Huntington of his duties a month into his search for a new team manager.

Former manager Clint Hurdle was fired on September 29, with owner Bob Nutting giving Huntington his backing at the time.

However, in a release issued on Monday, Nutting stated the team will now turn its focus to filling the GM vacancy.

"While we will pause the managerial search process for the time being, we are appreciative of the work that has been done thus far and confident in the candidates available to us," the owner's statement read in part.

"The hiring of a new general manager will only help clarify the situation further for those candidates." 

The Huntington move comes less than a week after the Pirates announced that team president Frank Coonelly was leaving the team, with former Pittsburgh Penguins executive Travis Williams to replace him. 

Coonelly, Huntington and Hurdle had all been in their roles for a significant amount of time. Coonelly and Huntington came aboard in September 2007 and Hurdle arrived in November 2010. 

According to various reports, the Pirates already had interviewed numerous people for the managerial opening, including special assistant Jeff Banister and third base coach Joey Cora.

The Nationals now have a crucial advantage in the National League wild-card game following their 10-7 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Saturday's victory against the already-eliminated Indians, the Nationals will host the MLB playoff contest at the beginning of October.

Gerardo Parra hit a grand slam in a whopping nine-run second inning to highlight the triumph, which is Washington's seventh consecutive win.

"I don't have to go home and pack," manager Dave Martinez said after the game, via ESPN. "Nice to stay at home. The boys wanted to stay at home, so they came out and swung the bats."

Nationals star Parra finished two of four for the night, along with Ryan Zimmerman, while Daniel Hudson earned the win after pitching one hitless inning.

 

Mets rookie Alonso sets record

Pete Alonso hit his 53rd home run on Saturday, which is more than any rookie in MLB history – surpassing Aaron Judge's record set in 2017. The New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0.

Houston Astros star Justin Verlander struck out his 3,000th batter to become just the 18th pitcher to reach the milestone.

Hyun-jin Ryu pitched seven solid innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed their 105th win. He allowed five hits while striking out seven in the 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

 

Rays struggle against Jays

The Tampa Bay Rays recorded only three hits in a 4-1 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays had seven starters lay goose eggs, including Austin Meadows, Jesus Aguilar and Nate Lowe, who all went 0 for four.

Edwin Jackson gave up three runs on four hits in just three innings of work in the Detroit Tigers' 7-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Detroit split the doubleheader after a 4-3 victory.

 

Soler homers… again

What else do you expect from Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler? (P.S. This was his second home run of the game.)

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Villar has power and speed.

 

Saturday's results

Baltimore Orioles 9-4 Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox 7-1 Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Chicago White Sox
Washington Nationals 10-7 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 San Francisco Giants
Philadelphia Phillies 9-3 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 3-0 Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs 8-6 St Louis Cardinals
Texas Rangers 9-4 New York Yankees
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies 3-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Houston Astros 6-3 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 1-0 Seattle Mariners
Cincinnati Reds 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Brewers at Rockies

Sunday marks the last day of the regular season and there is a lot at stake. One of the biggest games will be a must-win contest for the Brewers. They trail the Cardinals by one game after losing on Saturday. A Brewers win along with a Cardinals loss will put the two teams in a tie for first place in the NL Central, which would force Game 163. That is not all. The Rays are hoping for a win of their own, and an A's loss, to force a tie-breaker to decide who gets home-field advantage for the American League wild-card game.

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