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Tracy likes Bucs’ new mix

DENVER — The Pirates booted Jim Tracy after the 2007 season, after he posted a 135-189 record (.417) as manager. He soon latched on with the Rockies, and again has them battling for a playoff berth.

The Pirates’ roster has changed dramatically since Tracy was the skipper, and he thinks the team has a chance to become competitive.

“They some a very interesting young talent,” said Tracy, who singled out Pedro Alvarez as the most intriguing of the bunch. “There’s a real dynamic to the top of their order. What will be interesting will be to see what kind of cohesiveness there is moving forward.”

Tracy was referring to the issue that has hamstrung every Pirates manager for the past 20 years: will ownership do what it takes to keep the team together?

“It will be interesting to see if things can come to fruition for them,” Tracy said.

»»» The Rockies today designated ex-Pirates slugger Brad Eldred for assignment to clear a roster spot for Troy Tulowitzki, who came off the disabled list. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed we don’t lose (Eldred),” Tracy said. In 11 games with the Rox, Eldred hit .250 with a homer and three RBI — and also struck out 10 times in 24 at-bats.

Lineups for tonight’s game:

Pirates (34-64) – 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Jose Tabata lf, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Garrett Jones 1b, 5. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 6. Lastings Milledge rf, Ronny Cedeno ss, 8. Erk Kratz c, 9. Zach Duke (4-9, 5.22) lhp

Rockies (51-48) – 1. Dexter Fowler cf, 2. Ryan Spilborghs rf, 3. Carlos Gonzalez lf, 4. Troy Tulowitski ss, 5. Melvin Mora 3b, 6. Miguel Olivo c, 7. Brad Hawpe 1b, 8. Clint Barmes 2b, 9. Jorge De La Rosa (3-2, 5.65) lhp

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