Run-scoring drought in NL Central


ATLANTA — In the first month of the post-Pujols era, the Cardinals have a run differential of plus-50. Amazing. The Astros are plus-10. (That probably won’t last forever). Everyone else in the NL Central is on the wrong side of the ledger: the Reds are minus-10, the Pirates are minus-15, the Cubs are minus-20 and the Prince-less Brewers are minus-22.

»»» Here’s the lastest “update” from the Pirates about Jeff Karstens’ sore right shoulder: “Jeff is in Florida working through the rehab process of strengthening his shoulder.  He continues to report daily improvement.  The next step will be his return to pitch program that will begin upon successful completion of rest and rehab.”

»»» Having trouble finding my blog on the redesigned (and still under construction) TribLive website? You’re not alone. For the time being, don’t look for the link on the Pirates-specific page of the site. Instead, look for the link under the Pirates section on our general sports page.

»»» The only two non-pitchers on the active roster without an extra-base hit? Yamaico Navarro (1 for 13) and Neil Walker (13 for 58). Only two position players without an RBI? Rod Barajas and Jose Tabata.

»»» How young is Nats phenom Bryce Harper, who makes his big league debut Saturday? J.J. Cooper of Baseball America points out that Harper, 19, is two years younger than everyone else in the majors.

Game 20: Pirates @ Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

Pirates (8-11): 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Jose Tabata rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones rf, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Rod Barajas c, 9. Erik Bedard lhp (0-4, 2.63)

Braves (13-7): 1. Michael Bourn cf, 2. Martin Prado lf, 3. Freddie Freeman 1b, 4. Dan Uggla 2b, 5. Jason Heyward rf, 6. David Ross c, 7. Juan Francisco 3b, 8. Tyler Pastornicky ss, 9. Randall Delgado rhp (2-1, 5.74)