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One back healthy, one still sore

Andy LaRoche and Ross Ohlendorf tested each other’s sore backs this afternoon, playing catch on the field behind third base.

“I’m ready to play right now,” LaRoche said after the workout. “I’m trying to talk them into putting me in (the lineup) tonight.”

It didn’t work. Bobby Crosby will start at third base, giving LaRoche, who left Friday’s game due to back spasms, more time to rest. But manager John Russell said he would not hesitate to use LaRoche as a pinch-hitter tonight, if necessary. Expect LaRoche to be back in the starting lineup Wednesday.

— Ohlendorf still is not throwing off a mound and Russell offered no timetable for his return from the DL. “He’s still going through the process,” Russell said.

— Catcher Tony Sanchez, last year’s first-round draft pick, is hampered by shoulder soreness at Class A Bradenton. Sanchez has been used as a DH the past few days, but is expected to be back behind the plate by this weekend.

— The Pirates will play 42 games over the next 44 days, which could be a good test of the bullpen’s durability.

— If you were wandering around the North Shore about a half-hour ago and heard the f-bomb echoing out of PNC Park, that was one of the … um, musical selections blaring out of the public address system during batting practice. So much for the Pirates creating a family-friendly atmosphere, eh?

Lineups for tonight’s game:

Brewers (5-7) — TBA Dave Bush (0-0, 3.86) rhp

Pirates (7-5) — 1. Aki Iwamura 2b, 2. Andrew McCutchen cf, 3. Lastings Milledge lf, 4. Garrett Jones rf, 5. Ryan Doumit c, 6. Jeff Clement 1b, 7. Bobby Crosby 3b, 8. Charlie Morton (0-2, 13.50) rhp, 9. Ronny Cedeno ss

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