Pregame: Veras, Correia victorious


TORONTO — Jose Veras came through at a crucial juncture of last night’s game, getting Adam Lind to line into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.

“It was the biggest situation you can ask a guy to come into,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “And I really liked the way he handled the eighth as well.” Veras set the Blue Jays down 1-2-3 in the eighth, setting the stage for closer Joel Hanrahan to get his 23rd save.

»»» Kevin Correia racked up his 10th victory last night, although he struggled throughout. Correia worked six innings and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk. “I do think the All-Star break can’t come quick enough for him, just for (rebuilding) strength,” Hurdle said. “We’ll talk about maybe changing up some things. It’s a lot of innings and a lot of pitches. He’s not quite as sharp as we’ve seen in the past.” Hurdle said having Correia skip a start is not an option.

»»» The Pirates signed 27th-round draft pick Ryan Hornback, a catcher out of San Jacinto (Texas) College North. The team has signed 14 of its picks, plus two free non-drafted agents.

»»» John Bowker has homered in each of his past three games for Triple-A Indianapolis, giving him six overall this season. Bowker hasn’t made any big adjustments to his swing. “I’m zeroing in on my pitch and driving it,” Bowker said. “It’s about pitch selection and my stance at contact. My swing is more balanced and I’m getting to the ball in a powerful position. In the past I was getting hits, but not in a strong hitting position. That has changed.”

»»» Five Altoona players — third baseman Jeremy Farrell, second baseman Brock Holt, lefty Jeff Locke, outfielder Starling Marte and righty Aaron Pribanic — will go to the Double-A Eastern League all-star game.

»»» Four Low-A West Virginia players will serve three-game suspensions for their roles in a bench-clearing dust-up Monday in the game against Lexington. Elias Diaz and Andy Vasquez began their punishments last night. Brooks Pounders will start his Thursday. Drew Maggi’s will begin Friday.

The puck, stick and gloves Sidney Crosby used to win Olympic gold are holy relics in Toronto
The puck, stick and gloves Sidney Crosby used to win Olympic gold are holy relics in Toronto

»»» An aside about Toronto: If you’ve never been here, you really ought to come. I spent the afternoon at the Hockey Hall of Fame, which is fantastic. Lots of Sid and Mario  stuff and also plenty of Pens fans scattered about, gawking at the displays. There also is much shopping to do, if you’re into that sort of thing, along Yonge Street. One word of caution: they don’t take Visa at Tim Horton’s (who knew?). But I have to credit the woman at the register, who was very patient as I tried out my various forms of American payment until I gave up and forked over Canadian cash.

Lineups for today’s game:

Pirates (40-38) – 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Chase d’Arnaud 3b, 3. Garrett Jones dh, 4. Andrew McCutchen cf, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Lyle Overbay 1b, 7. Xavier Paul rf, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Eric Fryer c. Pitcher: Paul Maholm lhp (4-8, 3.21)

Blue Jays (39-41) – TBA. Pitcher: Brandon Morrow rhp (3-4, 4.90)