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Jones, Morris experience homecoming of sorts

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PITTSBURGH -- A year ago, Garrett Jones and Bryan Morris experienced the magic in Pittsburgh. They were part of the Pirates team that captured the imagination of the city and celebrated its first winning season in 20 years.

The Pirates went to the playoffs in 2013, and they are once again are in the mix to return to the postseason.

Jones and Morris are now hopeful of being part of a similar turnaround in Miami. They're with the Marlins, and like a year ago in Pittsburgh, see a young franchise on the rise.

"That was pretty special to see how the city changed," Jones said. "We were winning. The stadium was being packed. How the fans got behind the team. Just walking through the city, and people were rooting for you. A lot of positive things happened. I was glad I was able to be a part of that. I definitely want to be part of that again. I think we can do the same thing in Miami."

One reason the Marlins signed Jones to play first base is because the organization wanted players who experienced winning.

Morris has become a valuable setup reliever for the Marlins. The right-hander was acquired for a Competitive Balance pick in early June.

Shortly after being dealt to Miami, Morris got a chance to face his former team. To him, this series at PNC Park is about winning.

"Facing them in Miami kind of got all the jitters away, facing my old team," Morris said. "Now, when the game starts, they're just like every other team. They're the team to beat."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

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