Hurdle wants hitters to remain confident

PITTSBURGH – Manager Clint Hurdle has the answer for his team’s offensive slump.

“Get hits,” he said before Wednesday’s rain-delayed interleague series finale against the Oakland Athletics.

As simple as it may sound, Hurdle believes the Pirates need to simply stay confident and keep working.

“They understand that,” he said. “We just have to go up there and compete. Your frame of mind is important. If it’s all about your success being tied to getting a base hit, that’s a very challenging place to put yourself.

“You have to get to a point where your confidence isn’t a reflection of your last at – bat or your last game or your last three games. Your confidence is your confidence. We’re not getting the results right now. But as far as attitude and preparation and focus, they’re there. That’s where we have to stay. I do believe if we hold those principles, we’ll get the results we want.

“You can’t force [results] out. You just have to continue to play.”

Hurdle continues to believe better days are ahead for the Pirates’ offense.

“I believe it’s an offense that will self-correct,” he said. “We all like our team. They’re not going to panic. That’s not a good state of mind. They’re mindful, and they’re going to continue to work.”

While the offense has been scuffling, the pitching staff has been superb for the Pirates. Hurdle and his staff are discussing how to set up the starting staff after the All-Star break.

After Sunday’s home game against the New York Mets, the Pirates are off until they start a three-city trip in Cincinnati next Friday night.

The Pirates could send Gerrit Gole to the minor leagues to keep him pitching on a regular schedule over the break. They have to weigh that against watching Cole’s innings total.

Wednesday’s game didn’t start until shortly before 10 p.m. because of rain.

The start of Tuesday’s game was delayed one hour and 42 minutes by the threat of rain.

The field was covered, but there was very little precipitation during the delay.

The Pirates were reacting to a forecast that called for rain. The showers missed the North Side, and the game was able to start.

The team chose to wait because it didn’t want to start the game, then take the risk it would be stopped by rain. A delay of more than an hour would have meant starting pitcher Gerrit Cole probably wouldn’t have been able to return.

The game was played without interruption. Some light rain started to fall after the last out.

SUBHEAD: Another signing

The Pirates signed 11th round draft pick Erich Weiss, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound infielder from the University of Texas.

He is the 28th drafted player to sign and will report to Class A Jamestown.