CLEVELAND -- To the admitted puzzlement and curiosity of fans and impartial observers, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has continually extended Pedro Alvarez's rope. He has repeatedly criss-crossed the Mendoza Line alongside his third baseman.The manager's office, the coaches' room and the club's front office have all been joined in their avowed patience with Alvarez, their prodigal power hitter. The payoff for that patience? Long term, only time will tell. But Alvarez just finished making two quick deposits, in less than 24 hours knocking four balls out of Progressive Field to drive in nine runs and help power the Bucs to a pair of victories and their first Interleague Series win in Cleveland since 1998. Alvarez's encore consisted of a pair of three-run homers in Sunday's 9-5 victory over the Tribe in front of 27,388. This triumph sent the Pirates onto the turnpike toward Pittsburgh in a far better mood than they had been on the approach to Cleveland.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.