PITTSBURGH -- A glance at the PNC Park mound the past two days would suggest fate did no favors for the Pirates, who entered this past weekend having not scored more than three runs in their eight previous games entering Friday's series-opener against the Giants. They faced a two-time reigning National League Cy Young winner Sunday, the league's hottest pitcher Monday and will oppose the highest-regarded Draft pick in recent memory Tuesday.
But a day after their 6-3 win Saturday night, the Pirates put up five runs, three of which came off two-time Giants flamethrower Tim Lincecum.
The Pirates faced another test Monday in their rescheduled game against the Cubs, who trotted out Carlos Silva, winner of each of his last five starts. Silva has an ERA of 3.12.
Awaiting them Tuesday in Washington is, of course, the heralded Stephen Strasburg, last year's No. 1 overall pick who will be making his Major League debut.
But the Pirates' bats have generally risen to the occasion against the biggest pitchers they have faced. Look no further than their defeats of Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, Arizona's Dan Haren and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw.
"We were a hit or two away from definitely winning [Sunday's] game," Garrett Jones said. "We made a few mistakes, but we can compete with anybody, is what it comes down to. We can compete with anybody."
Cedeno fits in with self-made mustache
PITTSBURGH -- Manager John Russell was pretty much the only holdout of Bobby Crosby's mustache challenge, which was issued a week ago to start a six-game homestand. But that was a matter of choice, not circumstance. Shortstop Ronny Cedeno had trouble growing the facial hair, so he finally took matters into his own hands for Sunday's game against the Giants.
"I came out of the trainer's room and, I don't know, I looked at the mirror and I went, 'Everybody's got a mustache,' " Cedeno said.
Cedeno then applied eye black around the top and side of his upper lip before taking the field, drawing the attention of fans, announcers and teammates. He said his teammates called the move "awesome."
"That was my idea," Cedeno said. "Just trying to be a teammate and trying to be relaxed in the game. Just enjoying what I'm doing."
Cedeno snapped an 0-for-20 slide in the ninth with a two-out single to keep the game alive. But don't expect a similar look in the middle of the infield anytime soon.
"It's for one day," Cedeno said, "because I sweat too much."
Catcher Jason Jaramillo received his first start in one week Monday, giving Ryan Doumit a day off behind the plate. Doumit, who was not in the lineup, had done pregame work at first base in the past week and manager John Russell said he felt he could put Doumit there in the near future if necessary. ... Delwyn Young batted third in place of Doumit, becoming the Pirates' fourth different No. 3 hitter in the last six games. ... The Giants' two ninth-inning runs off Javier Lopez on Sunday were the first Lopez had surrendered in his last 13 last outings. ... There was no rain at PNC Park before Monday's game, the first time that could be said since last Tuesday. ... Tuesday marks the first time the Pirates have played back-to-back day games since facing the Cubs May 14-16 at Wrigley Field.
Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.