Hello, stranger


MILWAUKEE — Hello … Ronny Paulino?

The former first-string catcher tonight will make his first start for the Pirates since May 31. Paulino was used the next day as a pinch-hitter, then was sent down to Triple-A, where he spent a good chunk of time on the disabled list with ankle problems.

Paulino is hitless in three pinch-hit at-bats since being recalled Sept. 1 when rosters expanded. He hasn’t even been used as a warmup catcher for the pitcher on those occasions when the starting catcher is getting his gear back on after batting.

The entire bottom half of the Pirates’ lineup today won’t cause Brewers right-hander Yovany Gallardo to tremble in his first start back from knee surgery. Steve Pearce is batting .228, Andy LaRoche .167, Paulino .212 and Brian Bixler .160.

Lineups for tonight’s game:

PIRATES — Morgan LF, Sanchez 2B, McLouth CF, Adam LaRoche 1B, Pearce RF, Andy LaRoche 3B, Paulino C, Bixler SS, Duke (5-14, 4.96) LHP

BREWERS — Cameron CF, Hall 3B, Braun LF, Fielder 1B, Hardy CF, Hart RF, Weeks 2B, Kendall C, Gollardo (0-0, 1.80) RHP