Qualls to DL

Prior to today’s rubber game against the Brewers, the Pirates placed RHP Chad Qualls on the DL with irritation in his right big toe. The move makes room on the active roster for relief pitcher Hisanori Takahashi who was claimed on waivers from Los Angeles on Friday. In 42 IP for the Angels, the lefty put up a 4.93 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 8.8 K/9.

Also from Friday, Yamaico Navarro was optioned to AAA and 1B Jeff Clement was called up. Clement struck out as a pinch hitter in his first major league at bat since 2010 and is getting the start at first base today.

Mercer Back, McCutchen Sent Down

Jordy Mercer is back from paternity leave. To make room on the roster, Daniel McCutchen was optioned to AAA.

McCutchen faced two batters while he was up, surrendering a walk and a home run in Tuesday’s loss. Mercer is hitting .212/.250/.404 over 56 plate appearances in his rookie year. He’ll resume his role as back up middle infielder.

Kevin Correia returns to the bullpen as the Pirates go back to a five man rotation.

Series Preview: The Brewers

Current record: 67-57, 3rd place in NL Central, 8.5 games back

Up Next: Milwaukee Brewers, 57-66, 4th place in NL Central, 17.5 games back

Season Series: 3-3 (2-1, 1-2)

Notes: The Brewers are in full-on 2013 mode. They’ve called up prospect Jean Segura after trading Cesar Izturis. They also released veteran starting pitcher Randy Wolf and are seeing what they have in their young starters. Ryan Braun is still hitting like a beast, while Jonathan Lucroy, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez provide punch to the rest of the lineup.

Familiar Faces: Aramis Ramirez, Nyjer Morgan, Jose Veras

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Mike Fiers (6-6, 87.0 IP, 86 K, 2.90 ERA, 1.14 WHIP)
vs. LH Wandy Rodriguez (8-12, 157.1 IP, 104 K, 4.00 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Shaun Marcum (5-3, 82.1 IP, 77 K, 3.39 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeff Karstens (4-3, 76.0 IP, 54 K, 3.79 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

Sunday: RH Mark Rogers (1-1, 28.2 IP, 31 K, 5.02 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (7-13, 121.0 IP, 115 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

No lineup yet.

Padres Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 1-3 Loss at San Diego. Correia helps but bats silent. Box score.
Tuesday: 5-7 Loss at San Diego. Jones slams 2 in 10 inning loss. Box score.
Wednesday: 2-4 Loss at San Diego. JMac wild as ever. Box score.

Season Record: 67-57, 3rd place in NL Central, 8.5 games back

Notes: I’m on vacation at the beach this week, so I missed the first two games of the series. Based on what I saw last night though, I think I made the right call. Just so many missed opportunities or near misses that could have swung one of these games in the Pirates’ favor. Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson made their major league debuts Monday and were immediately sent back down after combining for three scoreless innings and five strikeouts. Gaby Sanchez hit his first homerun as a Buc. Garrett Jones nearly won Tuesday’s game on his own with a pair of homers. Kevin Correia stepped up in Monday’s start, lasting 4.1 innings after appearing in relief in the Sunday’s 19 inning game.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Tabata, LF 14 1 4 0 1 2 3 0.286 0.333
McCutchen, A, CF 14 2 3 0 0 5 9 0.214 0.214
Walker, 2B 12 1 2 1 1 1 2 0.167 0.231
Jones, G, 1B, RF 11 2 4 3 2 1 2 0.364 0.462
Barmes, SS 11 0 3 0 0 5 6 0.273 0.273
Snider, RF 9 0 2 0 1 4 7 0.222 0.364
Alvarez, 3B 7 1 2 1 6 3 3 0.286 0.615
Barajas, C 7 0 2 1 1 2 5 0.286 0.444
Sanchez, G, 1B 5 1 1 1 0 0 5 0.200 0.200
McKenry, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 3 0.000 0.000
Harrison, SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.500
Navarro, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 102 8 23 7 13 29 49 0.225 0.325

Batting
Doubles (5): Tabata (15), Barmes (14), Barajas (10), Walker (27), Jones (22)
Home Runs (3): Jones 2 (21), Sanchez (4)

Baserunning
SB: A McCutchen (15)
CS: A McCutchen (9)

Fielding
Errors: Walker 2 (8), Jones (7)
PB: Barajas (7)
DP: (Walker-Barmes-Jones), (Alvarez-Walker-Jones), (Alvarez-Barmes-Walker)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ 6.3 12 4 4 5 7 0 5.68 2.68
McDonald, J (L, 11-6) 5.0 5 4 4 5 2 0 7.20 2.00
Correia (L, 9-8) 4.3 7 3 2 1 2 0 4.15 1.85
Resop 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
McPherson, K 2.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.50
Watson 1.3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 1.00
Wilson 1.0 2 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 2.00
Grilli 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 2.00
Qualls 1.0 1 1 1 0 0 0 9.00 1.00
McCutchen, D (L, 0-1) 0.0 1 2 2 1 0 1 -.– -.–
  Totals 25.0 31 14 13 13 20 1 4.68 1.76

Transactions: Placed IF Jordy Mercer on the Paternity Leave list. Designated RHP Juan Cruz for assignment. Recalled RHP Kyle McPherson and LHP Justin Wilson from AAA. Activated RHP Chad Qualls from the bereavement list. Recalled RHP Daniel McCutchen from AAA. Optioned RHP Kyle McPherson and LHP Justin Wilson to AAA.

Series Preview: The Padres

Current record: 67-54, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.5 games back

Up Next: San Diego Padres, 53-70, 4th place in NL West, 14.5 games back

Season Series: 1-2

Notes: Not a lot new to say since the Bucs played the Padres last weekend and dropped two games. Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley are still their best hitters. The Pirates need to take two out of three to spilt the season series and sweep to win it.

Familiar Faces: None, since Ross Ohlendorf was optioned to AAA last week.

Probable Pitchers
Monday: TBA
vs. RH Edinson Volquez (7-9, 142.0 IP, 133 K, 4.31 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)

The Pirates had to use Wandy Rodriguez in yesterday’s 19 inning game so it remains to be seen who will start tonight. After the game, Kevin Correia volunteered to start even though he had pitched two innings.

Tuesday: RH A.J. Burnett (15-4, 145.0 IP, 126 K, 3.54 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
vs. RH Jason Marquis (8-11, 122.1 IP, 86 K, 5.30 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

Matchup-wise, this one is clearly in the Bucs’ favor. The mumbers above include his time in Minnesota, but Marquis has been much better since going to San Diego (6-7, 88.1 IP, 74 K, 4.08 ERA, 1.27 WHIP.)

Wednesday: RH James McDonald (11-5, 147.0 IP, 133 K, 3.61 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
vs. TBA

McDonald goes out to prove that his last outing was no fluke. Petco Park is a great place to do just that.

No lineup yet.

Cardinals Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 2-1 Win at St Louis. JMac comes back. Box score.
Saturday: 5-4 Loss at St Louis. Lots of missed chances. Box score.
Sunday: 6-3 Win at St Louis. Pirates on the good side of 19 inning game. Box score.

Season Record: 67-54, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.5 games back

Notes: The Bucs had their best pitching of any series this month. Not coincidentally, they won their first series this month. James McDonald and Jeff Karstens were effective and efficient. The bullpen put up 12 scoreless innings in yesterday’s 19 inning affair. Stepping up big were Chris Resop (3.0 IP), Jared Hughes, Kevin Correia and Wandy Rodriguez (2.0 IP each.) Jose Tabata had a nice day at the plate after bring called up for the injured Starling Marte, but made outs on the basepaths all three times he reached. The Fort was finally cooled off, going 0 for 13. Pedro Alvarez had the big hit on Sunday, hitting a solo homer to give the Pirates the lead in the 19th inning. Andrew McCutchen would knock in two more insurance runs before the inning was over. Pittsburgh looked better than they had in weeks while taking two of three from their division rival.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
McCutchen, A, CF 15 1 3 4 3 7 9 0.200 0.368
Jones, G, 1B-RF 13 0 4 2 0 5 8 0.308 0.286
Barmes, SS 13 3 3 0 1 6 7 0.231 0.286
Alvarez, 3B 13 1 3 1 3 5 5 0.231 0.412
McKenry, C 13 0 0 0 0 3 8 0.000 0.000
Mercer, 2B-SS 11 1 4 2 0 1 4 0.364 0.417
Snider, RF 11 1 3 0 2 1 1 0.273 0.385
Harrison, 2B-RF 9 0 3 1 1 2 3 0.333 0.364
Tabata, LF 7 1 2 0 1 1 4 0.286 0.375
Marte, S, LF 6 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.429
Sanchez, G, 1B 6 1 2 0 0 2 2 0.333 0.333
Barajas, C 4 0 0 0 1 2 3 0.000 0.200
Navarro, LF, PH 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P, PH 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Walker, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
  Totals 132 12 30 10 12 38 63 0.227 0.307

Batting
Doubles (6): Alvarez (18), Mercer 2 (5), Sanchez (13), Jones (21), Tabata (14)
Triples (1): Harrison (4)
Home Runs (1): Alvarez (23)

Baserunning
CS: Tabata 2 (11)
PO: Marte, Tabata

Fielding
Errors: Karstens (1)
DP: (Mercer-Barmes-Jones), (Alvarez-Mercer-Jones), (Bedard-Barmes)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens 7.0 2 2 2 1 4 0 2.57 0.43
McDonald, J (W, 11-5) 6.0 2 0 0 3 7 0 0.00 0.83
Bedard (L, 7-13) 4.7 9 5 5 3 4 0 9.64 2.57
Hughes, J 4.3 1 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.23
Resop (H, 8) 3.7 4 1 1 0 3 0 2.45 1.09
Cruz, J (H, 14) (BS, 1) 2.3 5 1 1 0 1 0 3.86 2.14
Grilli (H, 27) 2.0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 0.00
Rodriguez, W (W, 8-12) 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 1.00
Hanrahan (S, 34) 2.0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0.00 1.50
Correia 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.00
  Totals 36.0 26 9 9 11 31 0 2.25 1.03

Transactions: Placed LF Starling Marte on the 15 day DL. Recalled OF Jose Tabata from AAA.

Marte Injured

Left fielder Starling Marte injured his oblique last night and has been placed on the 15 day disabled list. Jose Tabata has been recalled from AAA and is starting in today’s starting lineup.

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