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Pregame: Lincoln out, Leroux in

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WASHINGTON — Brad Lincoln was sent back to Triple-A Indianapolis and righty reliever Chris Leroux was recalled. “Brad did nothing to disappoint,” manager Clint Hurdle said. The Pirates need bullpen depth more than another starter, which is why Leroux was added. Hurdle indicated management will consider whether Lincoln could be added to the bullpen mix for the second half of the season.

»»» Chase d’Arnaud will get the majority of the starts at shortstop while Ronny Cedeno (concussion) is on the 7-day DL.

»»» The Indy imports almost pulled out a doubleheader sweep last night. But the Pirates, using a lineup comprised mostly of recent callups from Indianapolis, gave up two runs in the eighth inning and lost, 4-3, to the Nats. “It’s on-the-job training,” manager Hurdle said. “They’re getting experience right away, at the highest level. They’re also learning some things every day because it can be a different game up here. The staples of the game remain the same, but the talent level is obviously escalated. The game’s a little quicker up here.”

»»» Lincoln worked six innings and gave up two runs on four hits. He walked three (one intentional) and struck out four. “A very good night for Brad,” Hurdle said. “It felt good,” Lincoln said. “It felt like I attacked everybody with my fastball and was able to get ahead, for the most part. I finished guys with my fastball. I battled out there. That’s what I was brought here to do — pick up my game and hopefully move on.”

»»» Andrew McCutchen hit for the cycle … sort of. It took him both ends of the doubleheader to accomplish it, but it’s still impressive. In the first game, McCutchen doubled and homered. In the second, he tripled, doubled and singled. “he’s very confident,” Hurdle said. “I think he’s growing with his approach mentally moreso than the mechanical part. Sometimes, it’s knowing when to go up and maybe turn the field a little bit more to the right rather than just square up balls to the middle if (pitchers) are soft and staying away, throwing him changeups. You saw him hit some balls (Saturday) to right field, which is impressive, down the right field line and he hit the home run to left-center field. When he starts stroking the ball all around the park, he’s in a pretty good place.”

»»» Short-season State College last night went 7 for 7 in stolen-base attempts. Taylor Lewis swiped two bags.

Lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Pirates (42-41) – 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Chase d’Arnaud ss, 3. Garrett Jones rf, 4. Andrew McCutchen cf, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Lyle Overbay 1b, 6. 7. Brandon Wood 3b, 8. Mike McKenry c, 9. Kevin Correia rhp (10-6, 3.79)

Nationals (42-42) – 1. Roger Bernadina cf, 2. Danny Espinosa 2b, 3. Ryan Zimmerman 3b, 4. Matt Stairs 1b, 5. Jayson Werth rf, 6. Rick Ankiel cf, 7. Wilson Ramos c, 8. Ian Desmond ss. 9. Jason Marquis rhp (7-2, 3.62)

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