HOUSTON — Delwyn Young, hitless in his past 22 at-bats, is not in the starting lineup again. He had two hits Sept. 1, which snapped an 0 for 16 slide. Over the past 16 games, Young’s batting average has dropped 42 points to .269.
“It’s the combination of a lot of things,” manager John Russell said. “Playing more, maybe wearing down a little bit. He’s putting a lot of emphasis on his defense right now. He’s putting in a lot of overtime.”
Before every game at PNC Park, Young spends extra time on the field — fielding grounders, taking tosses from short, making the pivot, positioning for relay throws — with infield coach Perry Hill. They also work out as much as they can on the road.
· Pedro Alvarez went 0 for 4 today in Team USA’s 8-0 rout of China in the World Cup. Alvarez has started all three games for Team USA (1-2) and batted .154 (2 for 13, including a homer) with two RBI. Round 2 begins Sunday.
· After a 2-0 loss last night, Class A Lynchburg is down two games to one in the best-of-five Carolina League North Division Championship series against Wilmington. Right-hander Nate Adcock pitches tonight for Lynchburg.
Lineups for tonight’s game:
PIRATES (54-85) — 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Andy LaRoche 3b, 3. Garrett Jones 1b, 4. Ryan Doumit c, 5. Lastings Milledge lf, 6. Steve Pearce 1b, 7. Ronny Cedeno ss, 8. Ramon Vazquez 2b, 9. Ross Ohlendorf (11-9, 3.97) rhp
ASTROS (69-72) — 1. Michael Bourn cf, 2. Kaz Matsui 2b, 3. Lance Berkman 1b, 4. Carlos Lee lf, 5. Miguel Tejada ss, 6. Hunter Pence rf, 7. Jeff Keppinger 3b, 8. Chris Coste c, 9. Brian Moehler (8-10, 5.10)