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Pregame: Mystery injury

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Left fielder Alex Presley, still bothered by his mysterious thumb injury, is not in the lineup again today. The Pirates identify the injury as a “contusionm,” which could cover a whole range of maladies. Presley offered a bit more — but not much — clarificiation this morning.

“It’s kind of a nerve thing,” Presley said. “I don’t want to get too much into it. It’s not your standard bruise on the hand. Other than icing it, there’s not a whole lot you can do. I guess I’ll have to wait it out.”

Presley said x-rays were negative. Manager Clint Hurdle said Presley has seen two doctors, but did not elaborate.

According to Presley, the injury happened during an at-bat Friday. “It’s happened before, but not that way. It’s very odd,” Presley said. Since then, he’s lost grip strength and cannot properly hold a bat.

»»» The Pirates would have to draw more than 40,000 fans today to break the franchise attendance record for a three-game series. Not gonna happen. Still, they’ve drawn 77,592 for the first two games against the Cards. If today’s game is a sellout, this series will surpass the 108,807 total from the Phillies series and move into fifth place in PNC Park history. Eight of the past 14 games have been sold out, for a total of 12 this season.

Lineups for today’s game:

Cardinals (53-47) – 1. Ryan Theriot ss, 2. Jon Jay lf, 3. Albert Pujols 1b, 4. Lance Berkman rf, 5. Colby Rasmus cf, 6. Skip Schumaker 2b,, 7. Gerald Laird c, 8. Daniel Descalso ss, 9. Kyle Lohse rhp (8-7, 3.45)

Pirates (51-47) – 1. Chase d’Arnaud 3b, 2. Matt Diaz lf, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Andrew McCutchen cf, 5. Lyle Overbay 1b, 6. Garrett Jones rf, 7. Ronny Cedeno ss, 8. Eric Fryer c, 9. Charlie Morton rhp (8-5, 3.62)

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