28 Sep

bright spot

Buried in the box score of a dreary performance by the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday there is a bright spot. Petal High alumnus Anthony Alford went 2-for-4 and scored the Pirates’ lone run (on a wild pitch) in a 13-1 loss to Cincinnati. Since getting a second chance with the Bucs this season, Alford has made the most of it. The 27-year-old outfielder is batting .300 (.378 on-base percentage) over his past 15 games. He has boosted his season average to .229 and has five homers, 10 RBIs, 13 runs and five stolen bases in 43 games. In four previous MLB trials, dating back to his debut with Toronto in 2017, Alford had never played more than 18 games. Injuries — and poor performance — have hounded him. After an awful start with Pittsburgh this season, Alford was designated for assignment, taken off the 40-man roster and shipped to the minors in April. He responded by batting .307 with 14 homers at Triple-A Indianapolis. When the Pirates had a need in early August, they brought Alford back. “That’s never an easy thing to do,” he recently told dkpittsburghsports.com. “Overcoming that, staying positive, making those adjustments.” He made a brief detour to the injured list in mid-August but has managed to stay healthy since. He’s likely fighting for a 2022 job. Pittsburgh keeps running him out there, which is a good sign.

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