Pittsburgh Pirates fire manager Clint Hurdle

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pirates fired manager Clint Hurdle before Sunday's regular season finale against Cincinnati following a stunning second-half collapse that dropped Pittsburgh to the bottom of the National League Central and included a series of off-the-field issues.

Pittsburgh entered Sunday 69-92, including a 25-47 since the All-Star break.

Hurdle went 735-720 in nine seasons with Pittsburgh, helping the franchise emerge from 20 years of losing to reach the playoffs three straight years from 2013-15. The Pirates never advanced past the Division Series and are assured of a third losing season in their last four years. Hurdle had two years left on an extension he signed in 2017.

Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington called it "an extremely difficult decision" for the organization.