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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)



  1. AJ says:

    How many 1st basemen are playing for the buccos today?

  2. James Thompson says:

    Well at least this series between two teams that have both been lately stinking up the place is over until next season, when, hopefully, the Pirates will be showing the improvement everyone has been awaiting for the past 19 seasons.

  3. Chuck H. says:

    Again, I say, to be a contender, they have to get rid of their automatic outs on the team.
    Some of their pitchers lack an out pitch when they need it. Some of them are wild and issue too many walks. If you keep putting them on base, they will score. If these
    improvements are not made, they will be shooting for twenty seasons in a row as losers.

  4. L Milburn says:

    Could you show the stats for Pirate minor league players as their seasons end?

  5. James Thompson says:

    Our Manager has been grumbling lately over our pitchers being unable to intimidate opposing batters. He should also be raging against their overall wildness, as was shown during this last series in Chicago.

  6. joel says:

    Has Jmack become “the leader of the pack”???? At one time I called him “old McDonald”, not any more. Next year he could be the ace of the staff, followed by Kevin Korea, Jeff Karsens, and “hot rod Lincoln”. You would have to be collecting SS checks to get the connation of hot rod lincoln and the leader of the pack.

  7. thebinker says:

    Hey, Robbie, where does Lee’s grand slammer rank on the list of greatest Pirates homers in PNC Park era?

  8. James Thompson says:

    Why should anyone, much less Pirates fans, ownership, and the players themselves have to settle for the Bucs being the worst franchise in American sports history?! Why indeed?! And the first thing the Pirates should do is start winning again, and put a team on the field that can do that.

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