Pregame: Doumit back, but not in action


PHILADELPHIA — Catcher Ryan Doumit is back and tonight will be behind the plate for the first time since May 29. He was activated off the disabled list this afternoon and Eric Fryer was optioned back to Triple-A Indy. Michael McKenry will start at catcher tonight against the Cubs.

Doumit was injured in the second inning of a game at Wrigley Field in a collision with Carlos Pena. Doumit hurt his left ankle — in an email on May 31, the Pirates described it as a “non-displaced fracture” of the ankle; today, the team said he’d been out with a “sprained” ankle. Whatever.

In 13 rehab games — five with High-A Bradenton and eight with Indy — Doumit hit .200 (8 for 40) with four RBI. Defensively, Doumit went 2 for 13 against base-stealers. He was 0 for 11 until Tuesday, when he was credited with nabbing two runners.

»»» If they lose tonight, the Pirates (54-54) will slip below .500 for the first time since June 21. They were seven games over (51-44) on July 19.

»»» The game Monday at San Francisco will be carried regionally by MLB Network. That broadcast will be blacked out in Pittsburgh, so folks in this area can watch the game on Root Sports, as usual. Tomorrow’s home game against the Cubs also will be on MLB Network (subject to blackout).

»»» Neil Walker has hit safely in each of the 20 games in his career against the Cubs, going 32 for 77 (.416) with 11 doubles, one triple, four homers and 17 RBI.

»»» Last night, reliever Joe Beimel made his 100th outing at PNC Park. Only five other pitchers have done so — John Grabow (197), Salomon Torres (188), Matt Capps (154), Scott Sauerbeck (108) and Damaso Marte (103).

Lineups for today’s game:

Cubs (45-65) — 1. Starlin Castro ss, 2. Darwin Barney 2b, 3. Aramis Ramirez 3b, 4. Carlos Pena 1b, 5. Marlon Byrd cf, 6. Geovany Soto c, 7. Alfonso Soriano lf, 8. Tyler Colvin rf, 9. Matt Garza rhp (4-8, 3.99)

Pirates (54-54) – 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Garrett Jones rf, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Derrek Lee 1b, 5. Ryan Ludwick lf, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Ronny Cedeno ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. Charlie Morton rhp (8-6, 4.04)