HOUSTON — A stint on the disabled list no longer is a possibility for infielder Josh Harrison (oblique). Harrison fielded, ran and swung a bat during early batting practice on the field this afternoon and reported no physical problems. Harrison is available off the bench tonight in a pinch, and manager Clint Hurdle said Harrison will likely be “in play” tomorrow. “It’s always good when the DL is not an option,” Harrison said.
»»» Left-hander Joe Beimel (elbow) made 25 tosses from 70 feet on flat ground, and said he feels fine physically after yesterday’s bullpen session. However, Beimel said his first workout on the mound after a 10-day layoff showed he has a lot of strength to rebuild. “The first 10 pitches off the mound were fine,” Beimel said. “But after that, it felt like the balls had parachutes on them. The balls barely got there.” It’s not a setback, Beimel stressed. “I felt outstanding today,” he said. “The ball was carrying real well (in soft toss). It could just be that my timing was off, getting on the mound again.”
»»» Tuesday’s game marked the Pirates’ first 1-0 victory since a 12-inning win on June 20, 2008 against Toronto at PNC Park. It was their first 1-0 road win since Sept. 2, 2006 at St. Louis.
»»» According to Elias, last night marked the third time in major league history that 10 pitchers were used in a 1-0, nine-inning game. The other two games — San Diego at Colorado in 2008 and San Francisco at San Diego in 2010 — both were played in September with expanded rosters.
»»» Texas Tech lefty Robbie Kilcrease signed with the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent and was sent to the rookie ball team in Bradenton, Fla. Kilcrease, a junior, made 17 outings, including a team-high 12 starts, this season for the Red Raiders and went 5-3 with a 5.97 ERA. In 63 1/3 innings, he had 39 strikeouts and 21 walks.
»»» On their massive video scoreboard, the Astros ran a spot featuring President George H. W. Bush talking about what it takes to run a successful campaign. At the end, Bush, who’s sitting in front of an American flag and speaking over patriotic music, urged everyone in the ballpark to vote all the Astros into the All-Star Game. Who could the Pirates employ to compete with that? James Buchanan? Sophie Masloff?
Lineups for tonight’s game:
Pirates (33-33) — 1. Jose Tabata lf, 2. Matt Diaz rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Lyle Overbay 1b, 6. Brandon Wood 3b, 7. Mike McKenry c, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Charlie Morton rhp (6-3, 3.08)
Astros (25-43) — 1. Jason Bourgeois cf, 2. Jeff Keppinger 2b, 3. Hunter Pence rf, 4. Carlos Lee lf, 5. Brett Wallace 1b, 6. Chris Johnson 3b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. J.R. Towles c, 9. J.A. Happ lhp (3-8, 5.04)