RISING STAR—Pirates first baseman Josh Bell leads the Bucs with 9 home runs as of May 22 and is becoming a true threat in the heart of the lineup. (Photos by Will McBride)

THREE-RUN HOMER—Josh Bell lights up the sky with a three-run home run in the May 17 contest against the Nationals that resulted in a Pirates win.

Josh Bell lights up the sky with a three-run home run in the May 17 contest against the Nationals that resulted in a Pirates win.

 

A TRUE GIFT—Gift Ngoepe, the first African-born player to play in the Majors, is learning the ropes of the Big Leagues for the Bucs.

 

RETURN TO FORM?—Can Andrew McCutchen return to the McCutchen of years past? As of May 22, he has six home runs, 20 RBI and a .206 batting average.

 

PIRATES ACE—Gerrit Cole is the ace of the Pirates, but was roughed up May 22 at Atlanta, giving up 5 runs in 4 2/3 innings. Cole is 2-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 10 starts this season.

 

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