Gorkys Hernandez isn’t feeling any pressure today as he makes his first start in the big leagues. “I’m ready to just do the best I can,” Hernandez said a few minutes ago. “I’m not doing anything different. I’m not nervous; I’m really focused. I want to get my first hit. I think something good is going to happen today. I think I’ll do something today to help us win. That’s what I’m looking for.”
»»» Roster move: Reliever Jason Grilli is off the bereavement list. LHP Jeff Locke was optioned back to Triple-A Indy. Locke, a starter at Indy, did not make an appearance during his brief stint with the Bucs’ bullpen. “Jeff was here for a role that never presented itself,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “If we’d needed a couple (consecutive) innings to be pitched, he would have been used that way. He wasn’t going to be used situationally.” Locke will throw a bullpen session today, then rejoin Indy’s rotation.
»»» Loving lefties: The Pirates are 6-0 at PNC Park when the opposing team starts a lefty. They went 13-11 in such games last season. Andrew McCutchen is batting .465 against LHPs, the second-best mark in the majors.
»»» Goin’ streakin’: Rod Barajas is riding an eight-game hitting streak. He’s hit four homers in his past 10 games. Barajas has 129 career homers, which ties him with Mike Napoli for sixth among active catchers. Ramon Hernandez is tops with 165. Miguel Olivo is fifth with 132.
»»» Welcome back: LHP Paul Maholm will start for the Cubs on Saturday. It will be his first outing at PNC Park since leaving the Pirates last offseason. Because the game is a Fox telecast, first pitch is set for 7:15 p.m.
Game 44: Mets @ Pirates, 12:35 p.m. ET
Pirates (20-23): 1. Josh Harrison rf, 2. Gorkys Hernandez lf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Casey McGehee 1b, 6. Rod Barajas c, 7. Yamaico Navarro 3b, 8. Clint Barmes ss, 9. Charlie Morton rhp (2-4, 4.35)
Mets (23-30): 1.Mike Baxter lf, 2. Kirk Nieuhenhuis cf, 3. David Wright 3b, 4. Lucas Duda rf, 5. Daniel Murphy 2b, 6. Ike Davis 1b, 7. Ronny Cedeno ss, 8. Rob Johnson c, 9. Jonathon Niese lhp (2-2, 4.85)