Pregame: Frequent flier

Was this the bat Derrek Lee used in the ninth inning Saturday?
Was this the bat Derrek Lee used in the ninth inning Saturday?

CHICAGO — Pedro’s back. No, not the slugger. The king of frequent flier miles, Pedro Ciriaco. The infielder was recalled this morning from Triple-A Indianapolis and will be in uniform for the game this afternoon against the Cubs. It’s Ciriaco’s sixth stint with the Pirates this season.

»»» Xavier Paul’s single in the ninth inning Saturday snapped an 0-for-19 slump by Pirates pinch-hitters. Until Paul’s hit the Pirates had not gotten a pinch hit since Matt Diaz singled Aug. 20 against Cincinnati.


»»» Derrek Lee’s grand slam Saturday was his 107th career homer and seventh grand slam at Wrigley Field. It was his first homer at Wrigley since the Cubs traded him away in August 2010. Lee ranks second in slams hit at Wrigley behind Ernie Banks, who hit eight. As highlights of Lee’s homer were flashing on the clubhouse TV this morning, one player smiled and said, “Roy Hobbs!”

Want an even more obscure note? According the Elias wonks, Lee is the first player in major league history to hit a grand slam in the ninth inning or later to turn a deficit into a lead against a team for which he had already hit at least 100 homers.

»»» Righty Jeff Karstens (shoulder fatigue) said he feels all right after playing long toss yesterday and a recent MRI exam showed no structural damage. He’ll throw a bullpen session in the next couple of days, then be re-evalulated.

»»» Indy won last night, but still was eliminated from playoff contention because Lehigh Valley won. The Indians wrap up their season on Monday. Yesterday’s game at Victory Field was a “shirt off their back” promotion. Catcher Wyatt Toregas had this advice for the fan who won his jersey: “Have fun with it. Frame it.”

»»» Low-A West Virginia went 34-33 at home, its first winning season at home since 2008, when the team was affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers. Power pitchers have tossed a club-record 13 shutouts. … Short-season Class A State College will conclude its season today against Williamsport.

Lineups for today’s game:

Pirates (64-75) – 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Josh Harrison 3b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Derrek Lee 1b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Garrett Jones 1b,7. Ronny Cedeno ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. Charlie Morton rhp (9-8, 3.74)

Cubs (59-80) – 1. Starlin Castro ss, 2. Tony Campana rf, 3. Aramis Ramirez 3b, 4. Carlos Pena 1b, 5. Bryan LaHair lf, 6. Marlon Byrd cf, 7. Darwin Barney 2b, 8. Koyie Hill c, 9. Randy Wells rhp (6-4, 5.06)