PITTSBURGH -- There used to be a time -- any year really between 1993-2012 -- when reaching 81 wins would be cause for celebration for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Courtney Upshaw Jersey . Not anymore. These days the certainty of a non-losing season is nothing more than a speed bump on Pittsburghs resilient quest for a playoff berth. Gregory Polanco, Neil Walker and Ike Davis all homered and the Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox 9-1 on Wednesday night to maintain their grip on the second National League wild card spot. Polanco and Walker hit solo shots off Boston starter Clay Buchholz (8-9) and Davis drilled a three-run blast to centre off reliever Steven Wright. The Pirates have won 10 of 12 and improved to a season-high 11 games over .500 (81-70). Pittsburgh moved 2.5 games clear of Milwaukee in its race for a second straight post-season bid after the Brewers fell to St. Louis. "We got some good pitches to hit and didnt miss them," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Fun to watch those guys work in the box." Francisco Liriano (6-10) won his third straight decision, allowing one run in six innings. The left-hander worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and has now given up two runs or less in 11 of his 12 starts since the All-Star break, looking like the pitcher who won 16 games in 2013 than the one that struggled with his command and his health during a rocky first half to 2014. "It was a battle for me today, just trying to execute pitches, make good pitches," Liriano said. "I got a couple little plays and just a tough night location-wise but Ill take it." Boston rookie centerfielder Rusney Castillo went 1 for 4 in his major league debut. The Cuban defector signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox last month. Boston has lost three of four. "Obviously Id like a better outcome in terms of winning the game," Castillo said. "But I was pretty satisfied with my overall approach and the way I stepped in today." Castillos arrival in the Red Sox clubhouse on Wednesday afternoon ended a quick tour of the teams minor league system. He made stops at three different levels before coming up to Boston to stay. While manager John Farrell stressed the final games of an otherwise lost season are simply a chance for Castillo to "get acclimated" to life in the big leagues, the 27-year-old believes it wont take long for him to get up to speed. He provided a brief glimpse of whats to come in the fourth when he ripped a sharp grounder to second that Walker couldnt handle for his first major league hit. "Ill sign it and keep it in my house somewhere," Castillo said with a smile. While Castillo is a part of Bostons long-term future, the present belongs to the Pirates. Polanco wasted little time drumming Buchholz, who hadnt given up a homer in his last 36 innings. There was no chance to make it 37 after Polanco drilled a Buchholz fastball into the seats in right for his seventh homer of the season and first since Aug. 10. The lead ballooned to 4-0 in the second behind a two-run double by Clint Barmes. Walker golfed a Buchholz pitch into the first row of seats in right for his 21st homer of the season in the third, extending his record for most home runs in a season by a Pittsburgh second baseman. TRAINERS ROOM Red Sox: 2B Brock Holt, out with a concussion since Aug. 25, is scheduled to meet with concussion specialist Micky Collins on Thursday. Farrell said Holt is doing daily vision exercises and running on a treadmill but has not started baseball related activities. Pirates: RHP Charlie Morton reported no issues a day after pitching five shutout innings in his first start in a month due to a hernia issue. Manager Clint Hurdle said hes still hasnt made a decision on who will start when Mortons turn in the rotation comes up again on Sunday against Milwaukee. UP NEXT Red Sox: Brandon Workman (1-9) will try to end a nine-game losing streak when he makes his 15th start of the season. Workmans only victory of the season came on June 10 against Baltimore. His ERA is a season-high 5.27 after giving up five earned runs in three innings of a 10-6 loss to Baltimore last week. Pirates: Gerrit Cole (9-5) goes for his third straight victory. The 24-year-old struck out six and walked one while working six innings in a 7-3 victory over Chicago in his previous start. Brett Favre Jersey . -- Alex Anthopoulos spoke volumes with what he didnt say on right-hander Ervin Santana. Wes Schweitzer Jersey . Top-seeded Djokovic swept to a 6-1, 6-3 win over 51st-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in just 57 minutes, but fourth-seeded Federer had to see off a serious challenge from 48th-ranked Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic before coming through 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3. http://www.falconsapparelsshop.com/tani-tupou-falcons-jersey-c-61/ .75 million contract for the 2014 season and avoided arbitration. The team announced the agreement on Tuesday.MELBOURNE, Australia -- One by one, Serena Williams is matching the feats of tennis greatest legends. Her next challenge comes at the Australian Open, which starts Monday with Williams seeking her 18th Grand Slam title -- an accomplishment that would match Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. "It would mean a lot to be on the same level as such great players," Williams said in a pre-tournament news conference Saturday, quickly adding a dash of humility. "I still have a lot of work to do. I obviously want to reach that level, but Im not there yet." "Hopefully, Ill get there," she added. The No. 1-ranked, No. 1-seeded player is entering the new season after a spectacular year. In 2013, Williams won 78 of her 82 matches including the French Open and the U.S. Open. She earned more than $12 million in prize money, a record for womens tennis. At 32, an age where most professional players are in decline, Williams is playing the best tennis of her career, says Navratilova, who predicts that Williams will win in Melbourne and go on to eclipse Steffi Grafs 22 major titles in the Open era. "If she can stay healthy, theres no doubt she can go into the 20s. The sky is the limit," Navratilova said earlier this week. In terms of Grand Slam titles, no woman playing professional tennis today comes close. In a distant second place is Williams big sister, Venus, who won seven major titles during a career that is now waning because of age, injuries and an autoimmune disease that saps her energy. Venus last Grand Slam win came at Wimbledon in 2008. No. 2 Maria Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam winner, is coming back after playing just one post-Wimbledon match in 2013 due to hip and shoulder injuries. She sat out the last two months of the 2013 season and says she is still nursing her shoulder with "precautionary" anti-inflammatories at times. "Im happy to be back playing a Grand Slam," said Sharapova, who toree her rotator cuff in two places in 2008, requiring surgery that kept her off the tour for nearly a year. Matt Bosher Jersey. . "Im happy to get myself back in form and really start well here." The player who is considered the greatest threat to Williams is No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, the two-time Australian Open defending champion. Williams has defeated Azarenka in 14 of their 17 matches -- but Azarenka has excelled more recently in Melbourne where Serena has won five titles but none since 2010. Asked why she has stumbled in Melbourne in recent years, Williams half-joked: "I just wasnt able to stay on two feet. Literally." Last year, Williams tumbled to the court in her first-round match after turning her right ankle. She was then upset in the quarterfinals by Sloane Stephens. "Ive been doing a lot of exercises for my ankles and trying to make sure that theyre pretty stabilized," said Williams. Williams got a strong start to the new season, with back-to-back wins over Sharapova and Azarenka earlier this month in Brisbane. She beat Sharapova in the semifinals and overcame Azarenka in the final. In Melbourne, Williams will only get the chance to play one of them. Azarenka and Sharapova are on the opposite side of the draw from Williams and could end up playing each other in the semifinals. Sharapovas first-round match is against Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Tuesday, when Azarenka faces Johanna Larsson of Sweden. Williams starts her Australian Open campaign Monday against Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty and has 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur and two-time Australian finalist Li Na in her half of the draw. Barty, who is 17 and ranked 153rd, is bound to have rowdy home crowd support as she steps onto centre court against the worlds top player. "Obviously theyll want Ashleigh to win, (and want) her to do well," Williams said. "Under any other circumstances. Id probably be rooting for her as well." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '