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Pearce starts in RF

Steve Pearce gets first crack at the right field job.

Pearce, called up from Triple-A Indianapolis this afternoon, is in the lineup batting sixth for tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres. Pearce was not stunned by his recall. He had heard the trade rumors, which came to fruition Friday when the Pirates sent Xavier Nady to the New York Yankees.

“You hear the talk and what’s going on, but you’ve got to stay focused down there in Triple-A,” Pearce said. “That’ what I tried to do.”

Pearce made a rapid rise through the minors in 2007, starting the season in Single-A and ending it in the majors. This could be his time to bid for a full-time job with the Pirates.

“That’s my goal,” he said.

Pearce spent one week with the Pirates earlier this month. He went 1 for 3 as a pinch-hitter and played two innings in right field July 4 against Milwaukee.

Pearce knows people will expect him to be Nady.

“I don’t worry about that,” Pearce said. “I just have to play my game and show people what I can do. We’re going to miss X, but he’s with another team now. I’m going to try to do all I can for the Pirates.” Today’s lineups:

Padres: Gerut CF, E. Gonzalez 2B, Giles RF, A. Gonzalez, Kouzmanoff 3B, Headley LF, Greene SS, Hundley C, Banks RHP

Pirates: McLouth CF, Sanchez 2B, Doumit C, Bay LF, LaRoche 1B, Pearce RF, Mientkiewicz 3B, Van Benschoten P, Wilson SS.

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