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Russell stumps for Duke

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This morning, manager John Russell did a little politicking on behalf of Zach Duke’s bid to earn an All-Star berth. Duke is tied for second in the NL in wins (eight) and is 10th in ERA (3.09).

“I think he (deserves a spot) because of the way he’s pitched,” Russell said. “He doesn’t have the huge numbers like some guys. But if you look at the consistency he’s developed, yeah, I think he should be considered.

“If you look at some of his (five) losses, we haven’t scored many runs for him. He pitched a complete game against the White Sox and got a loss. He threw eight innings in his next start and got a loss. He’s been very consistent, and that’s something to consider.”

Duke will start tomorrow against the Cubs. The lefty is riding a five-game winning streak at PNC Park, and has allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his first 15 starts.

Lineups for this afternoon’s game:

ROYALS — 1. David DeJesus lf, 2. Willie Bloomquist cf, 3. Jose Guillen rf, 4. Mike Jacobs 1b, 5. Brayan Pena c, 6. Alberto Callaspo ss, 7. Mark Teahen 3b, 8. Mitch Maier cf, Zach Greinke (9-3, 1.90) rhp

PIRATES — 1.Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Nyjer Morgan lf, 3. Freddy Sanchez 2b, 4. Adam LaRoche 1b, 5. Eric Hinske rf, 6. Andy LaRoche 3b, 7. Jason Jaramillo c, 8. Jack Wilson ss, 9. Charlie Morton (0-0, 3.00) rhp

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