-- Oakland is the only AL team that the Pirates have never beaten in interleague play. The Pirates were swept in Oakland in 2004 and broomed by the A's at PNC in 2002.
The Pirates have lost 15 of the last 17 games; the A's have lost 7 of their last 8 and 11 of the past 14. A clash of Titans, hey?
-- And, by the way, the Bucs are a pretty popular good luck charm. The White Sox have won 13-of-14 and nine in a row since sweeping the Pirates. The Rangers, as we well know, have won eleven in a row and 14 of their last 15 games, including their just-concluded sweep of Pittsburgh. Are the Pirates running into red hot teams or the reason the teams are red hot?
-- Bobby Crosby is 10-for-15 in his last four games.
-- In case you're wondering when rehab ends for Charlie Morton and Steve Pearce: The Pirates have until July 5th to decide whether to bring Morton back to Pittsburgh or option him to Indy. The Pirates can run Pearce's rehab work to July 6th.
If they option either one to Indy after the rehab deadline passes, they have to stay in AAA ten days before being eligible to return to the big club.
-- Aki Iwamura will split time playing second and third with Indy; he'll alternate at those spots with Jimmy Negrych.
-- The Phils will be playing a three game away series against Toronto - in Philadelphia! The venue got switched because the fine burg of Toronto is hosting the G-20 convention. Geez, didn't stop the Buccos from playing at PNC last year, even with hippies dangling off the bridge.
-- Gorzo is lookin' good as a new Cubby starter. Seems like the Big Z pulled a looney on soft-spoken Carlos Lee over a missed grounder and got yanked for Gorzelanny. And you thought only Pittsburgh had psycho pitchers.