Francisco Liriano (13-5, 2.68 ERA) takes on Andrew Cashner (8-7, 3.87) in the opener at San Diego. The Cisco Kid has been the Bucco stopper and is coming off an efficient complete game win, but dealing against SD will be a tall task. San Diego has been kryptonite to the Bucs, as the Padres have won 18 of 21 over the Pirates and eight of the last nine. Cashner likes Petco Park, where he has has a 2.50 ERA in eight home starts versus a 4.97 mark on the road.
The game starts at 10:10 and will be aired by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.
Pirate lineup: Josh Harrison RF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Garrett Jones 1B, Jordy Mercer SS, Jose Tabata LF, Tony Sanchez C and Francisco Liriano P.
Russ Martin caught all 16 innings of Sunday’s game, so Sanchez is in. The Bucs are still short a bench player, and with Marte out (his hand has been troubling him, and we assume that's why he's sitting), Josh is the last man standing. We are surprised (OK, stunned) that he and JT aren't flipped in the lineup.
Padre lineup: Chris Denorfia RF, Will Venable CF, Jedd Gyorko 2B, Yonder Alonso 1B, Chase Headley 3B, Logan Forsythe LF, Nick Hundley C, Ronny Cedeno SS and Andrew Cashner P.
Geez, Ronny Cedeno...he's replacing All-Star Everth Cabrera, who was suspended 50 games for his part in the Biogenesis PED affair.
- RHP Ryan Reid was called up from Indy for today's game and will be added to the roster; no announcement on who is going down yet.
- Dayn Perry of CBS Sports lists Cutch atop his list of NL-MVP hopefuls, though he cautions that there is no odds-on favorite for the award at this point.
- Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports Hardball Talk visited PNC Park and was not totally blown away...
- Pedro Alvarez joins Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell. Brian Giles & Jason Bay as the only Pirates to hit 30 or more HRs in back-to-back seasons.
- Travis Snider began his rehab assignment at Altoona tonight after his turf toe landed him on the DL. He went 1-for-3 in the opener of a DH.
- J-Mac's rehab start with the GCL Pirates wasn't very auspicious. He lasted 2/3 of an inning, giving up two runs on a pair of doubles with a walk, wild pitch and whiff. On the bright side, first round picks Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire both had hits and are batting over .300. The Rookie Pirates won, 3-2, as the six pitchers after McDonald went 8-1/3 shutout frames, giving up five hits and fanning 11.
- The Pirates are hopeful that Wandy will be able to make at least one rehab start before the minor league regular season ends on Labor Day and can then rejoin the rotation. That may be optimistic, though, as he told the Post Gazette's Bill Brink that he felt "something" in his left forearm after today's bullpen session.
- Jeff Karstens returned to the Pirates' training facility in Bradenton on Sunday with hopes that he can build up enough arm strength to pitch in relief in September.
- Boys will be boys: Doug Mientkiewicz, manager of Class A Fort Myers and former Pirate infielder, got into a wrestling match with Bradenton manager Frank Klembas.
- Jose Contreras was granted his release by the Red Sox; he had been pitching in AAA for Boston. Beantown also sent Brock Holt to AAA to make room for prospect Xander Bogaerts.
- OF David DeJesus of the Cubs, considered a possible trade target for the Pirates, was claimed by Washington on waivers and so Chicago dealt him to the Nats for a PTBNL.