Presley demoted, Meek returns


WASHINGTON — Alex Presley today was optioned to Triple-A Indy and RP Evan Meek was recalled.

Presley’s departure isn’t too surprising. He hit .200 with seven RBI and a .246 OBP, and had been dropped to sixth and seventh in the batting order the past two games. “We need Alex to be able to play his game to make our offense go,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s been a challenge, especially the past two weeks. He’s not the only one, but he’s a young player who we like a lot, who we think (has) a big ceiling. The reps (with the Pirates) aren’t what they need to be for him to continue to develop.”

Meek was sent down to Indy on May 1. He pitched in four games, tossing six scoreless innings, and allowed two hits. walked two and struck out five. He might not be back for very long, though, as his arrival gives the team eight relievers. The Pirates need bullpen help tonight — there’s no guarantee Erik Bedard (back spasms) will pitch deep, and Brad Lincoln and Chris Resop are unavailable in order to avoid overwork.

Renoir's "Boaters to Chatou"
Renoir's "Boaters to Chatou"

== Free time: When I got to DC this morning, my room at the hotel wasn’t ready yet. In most towns, that’s a big-time inconvenience. Not here. It was a perfect excuse to hike to the National Gallery of Art and spend an hour with the Impressionists. If you’re in town for the games, be sure to check out the pieces by Renoir that are on loan from Paris. Outstanding.

Game 37: Pirates @ Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET

Pirates (17-18): 1. Jose Tabata rf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Casey McGehee 1b, 5. Yamaico Navarro lf, 6. Rod Barajas c, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. James Harrison 3b, 9. Erik Bedard lhp (2-4, 2.57)

Nationals (22-14): 1. Ian Desmond ss, 2. Bryce Harper cf, 3. Ryan Zimmerman 3b, 4. Adam LaRoche 1b, 5. Xavier Nady rf, 6. Danny Espinosa 2b, 7. Tyler Moore lf, 8. Jesus Flores c, 9. Gio Gonzalez lhp (4-1, 1.94)