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Pregame: Big crowds

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A lot of folks assume the largest crowd at PNC Park came for one of the interleague games against the Yankees in 2008. Not so. Prior to last night, the biggest crowd was a turnout of 39,392 on Aug. 11, 2001, to see an 11-6 loss against the Padres.

That record was smashed Saturday, when 39,441 witnessed a dramatic, 6-3 win against the Phillies. Many in the crowd — 50 percent or more, according to some estimates — were rooting for the bad guys. It didn’t matter; in fact, it only added to the atmosphere.

“It’s a good matchup,” skipper Clint Hurdle said. “The matchup has some history. The Philly fans made the trip. I do believe we’re getting some incremental traction with our fan base. We’re playing better. We have a long way to go. Hopefully, it’s playing out and they’re seeing it’s a fun club to watch. We have the ability to break your heart one night and then make you jump up and down the next.”

»»» By the way, there are three Yanks games among the top 10 draws at PNC Park. The biggest, 39,081 for the game July 10, 2008, ranks fourth. There also are two games from PNC Park’s inaugural 2001 season on the list.

Lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Phillies (34-24) – 1. Shane Victorino cf, 2. Placido Polanco 3b, 3. Chase Utley 2b, 4. Ryan Howard 1b, 5. Raul Ibanez lf, 6. Carlos Ruiz c, 7. Domonic Brown rf, 8. Wilson Valdez ss c, 9. Roy Halladay rhp (7-3, 2.56)

Pirates (28-29) – 1. Xavier Paul lf, 2. Josh Harrison 3b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Lyle Overbay 1b, 6. Garrett Jones rf, 7. Brandon Wood ss, 8. Dusty Brown c, 9. James McDonald rhp (3-3, 4.85)

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