CHICAGO Andy LaRoche is not in the lineup today against the White Sox. In the ninth inning last night against the Nationals, Ramon Vazquez pinch-hit for LaRoche (who was 1 for 3 with an RBI). So far, there is no indication that anything’s wrong physically with LaRoche; might be just a day off. I’ll update after the clubhouse opens in a half hour.
• Eric Hinske is the Pirates’ designated hitter today. Expect Craig Monroe to handle that duty tomorrow and Sunday.
• Right-hander Eric Krebs today was sent to the Dodgers as the player to be named in the Delwyn Young trade. Krebs was 2-4 with a 4.86 ERA in 10 outings for Double-A Altoona. He was the Pirates’ 16th-round pick in 2005.
• Last night, Brad Lincoln picked up his first victory for Double-A Altoona. The right-hander made sure to lock it down he tossed the Curve’s first complete game of the season, a two-hit shutout against Bowie. He is 1-3 with a 2.31 ERA. Lincoln, the Pirates’ top draft pick in 2006, had Tommy John surgery in April ’07.
• Remember how it often seemed Jason Bay was king of the low-impact home run when he played for the Pirates? Of his 139 career homers, 85 are solo shots. Bay hit 79 one-run homers while wearing black and gold.
That’s changed since he was traded to Boston. Bay’s homer yesterday was his 11th in a row with at least one runner on base, a Red Sox record. Thirteen of his past 14 homers have scored more than one run.
Is Bay more of a clutch hitter with the Sox? Perhaps. More likely, it’s just that he’s finally playing for a team that puts plenty of runners on base ahead of him.
• According to DallasNews.com, TBS, taking a cue from Fox, is in talks with MLB about setting earlier start times for playoff games.
• Lineups for today’s game:
PIRATES 1.Nyjer Morgan lf, 2. Freddy Sanchez 2b, 3. Nate McLouth cf, 4. Adam LaRoche 1b, 5. Eric Hinske dh, 6. Brandon Moss rf, 7. Ramon Vazquez 3b, 8. Jason Jaramillo c, 8. Jack Wilson ss. Zach Duke will pitch.
WHITE SOX 1. Scott Podsednik lf, 2. Lance Nix 2b, 3. Jermaine Dye rf, 4. Paul Konerko 1b, 5. A.J. Pierzynski c, 6. Carlos Quentin dh, 7. Alexi Ramirez ss, 8. Brian Anderson cf, 9. Josh Fields 3b. Gavin Floyd will pitch.