-- LHP Zach Duke and RHP Sean Hill square off tonight in San Diego.
The two teams actually match up pretty well. SD (10-6) is hitting .262 with 71 runs scored, and Pittsburgh (9-7) .264 with 73 tallies. The Bucs have a slight edge in pitching, with a team ERA of 3.38 to the Padre's 4.19. We expect a close-fought series, playing out just like yesterday's game.
-- In some late news, the Pirates put RHP Craig Hansen on the 15-day DL due to shoulder and neck spasms. RHP Evan Meek was recalled from Indy.
-- The Bucs ain't talking about Nate McLouth's oblique tweak. They're crossing their fingers that it's day-to-day. He'll be on the pine again for tonight's game, and was held out of BP and warmups, so he may be out for at least the series, maybe longer.
San Diego has all righties slated to go against the Bucs, and a bullpen that's entirely right-handed. So look for the same alignment if Nate misses the Padre series, with left-handed hitters Brandon Moss in left, Nyjer Morgan in center, and Eric Hinske in right.
-- Ryan Doumit's surgery went well, according to the Pirate suits. He had a screw inserted into his wrist, and will rejoin the team in Milwaukee as an interested bystander until he's ready to go in mid-to-late June if all goes by the book.
-- Garrett Jones (.321-2-14) has an 11-game hitting streak at Indy, with a homer, double, and 5 RBI in last night's 9-7 loss to Columbus. On the other side of the coin, RHP Jason Davis is now 0-2 with an 11.17 ERA. After a solid camp, Davis has given up 20 hits during his three starts and 9-2/3 innings for the Tribe.
-- Altoona LHP Tony Watson was sent down to short-season State College, a sure sign that he needs a major-tuneup. He was on the Pirate's short-list of starters to watch, but was 0-2 with an 11.17 ERA in three starts for the Curve. RHP Jared Hughes, who was pitching on loan from State College, now takes his place full-time on the roster.
-- Jay Bay (.288-4-13) hit a two-run, two out bomb over the Green Monster in the ninth off Mariano Rivera to tie the game against the Evil Empire and eventually lead to a 5-4, eleven inning win for the Bosox. Walk years are soooooo interesting.
-- The Blue Jays, who just placed two pitchers on the DL, called up ex-Bucco top pick RHP Brian Bullington, who they claimed on waivers last year. He was 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four relief appearances for AAA Las Vegas, where he fanned 10 batters and walked one in 9-2/3 innings of work.