Pirates Notebook: LaRoche buries April issue

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Meet Adam LaRoche, Mr. April.

After his 4-for-5, three-double performance in the Pirates' 7-4 against Florida yesterday, the eighth four-hit output of his career, he has a .309 average, 10 of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases, and his 10 RBIs are second on the team only to Nate McLouth's 14.

Not bad for a guy whose career average in April had been .182, who had only 29 hits the previous five years in that month.

Whatever happened to that guy?

"I don't know what you're talking about," he replied with a straight face yesterday. "That's behind me now."

He was asked why that is.

"Shoot, if I could answer that, I would have fixed it four years ago. I have no idea why this is happening now, but I'm not complaining."

One possible explanation is that LaRoche has tightened his batting stance under the tutelage of hitting coach Don Long, with an aim of keeping him from flying open.

The best team?

Cynics who doubted the quality of the Marlins -- despite that 11-1 record they brought to Pittsburgh, they did have six victories against the bottom-feeding Washington Nationals -- were handed plenty of ammunition in this series, notably in the field: They were sloppy, even lethargic at times.

"We just need to get back to the way we were playing," right fielder Cody Ross said.

It might help, too, that they get back to a warmer climate, with their next series is at home against the Philadelphia Phillies.

"The fish don't like the cold, I guess," Pirates outfielder Delwyn Young said.

Buried treasure

• Catcher Ryan Doumit's wrist surgery is scheduled for this morning at Allegheny General Hospital. He will not accompany the team to San Diego.

Andy LaRoche's two RBIs marked his first multiple-RBI game since joining the Pirates.

Brandon Moss, still without an RBI, remarkably drew two intentional walks.

• The Pirates have turned 21 double plays, most in Major League Baseball. Their double play yesterday was scored 1-4-2-5-1, with Paul Maholm fielding a comebacker, throwing to second, then finishing off a rundown at the plate.

Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com


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