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Fun with numbers

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Through the first 35 home games this year, Pirates attendance is up more that 12 percent compared to last year. Those digits might be a bit deceiving, however.

Last week, the Pirates hosted their marquee interleague series against the Cleveland Indians. It pulled in a three-game total of 69,391 fans.

Last year, the New York Yankees did not visit PNC Park until the Pirates’ 39th and 40th games of the season. (The June 26 game was rained out and made up July 10.) Those three games against the Yanks drew 116,900.

Unless this three games against the Cubs and Thursday afternoon’s rainout makeup game against the Mets pull in big crowds, that 12-percent growth figure should be considerably smally by the end of this week.

Lineups for tonight’s game:

CUBS — 1. Alfonso Soriano lf, 2. Ryan Theriot ss, 3. Derrek Lee 1b, 4. Jake Fox 3b, 5. Geovany Sota c, 6. Milton Bradley rf, 7. Ryan Freel cf, 8. Henry Blanco 2b, 9. Rich Harden (4-4, 5.10) rhp

PIRATES — 1.Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Nyjer Morgan lf, 3. Freddy Sanchez 2b, 4. Adam LaRoche 1b, 5. Brandon Moss rf, 6. Andy LaRoche 3b, 7. Jason Jaramillo c, 8. Jack Wilson ss, 9. Zach Duke (8-5, 3.09) lhp

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