April 26: Pirates (10-7) @ Padres (10-7)

Bixler, Brian 2.jpgWith only hours left here in San Diego, the sun finally emerges. Very kind of it to make a cameo appearance. Let’s hope that the Pirates can get through Sunday without any more injuries. It was a trying week in that regard for Pittsburgh, and it will be critical that the guys filling in can pick up the slack so the Pirates don’t suddenly find themselves far down in the standings when they eventually get healthy again.

Brian Bixler, recalled late on Saturday when Jack Wilson went on the DL, should be at the park around 11:30 a.m. PT or so and is in the starting lineup. Bixler hit .327 with five doubles and eight RBIs in 14 games for Triple-A Indianapolis.

Manager John Russell said he’ll use both Bixler and Ramon Vazquez at short during Wilson’s absence. It didn’t sound like one or the other would get the majority of the starts, as Russell wants to keep both bats fresh.

As expected, Nate McLouth (right oblique strain) is out again on Sunday despite reports that he is feeling better. He is not available to pinch hit, and Russell sounded pessimistic that McLouth would be returning on Monday or maybe even in the Milwaukee series at all.

Freddy Sanchez is out of Sunday’s lineup, but it’s nothing more than just giving the second baseman a day of rest. He’s started all 17 games so far. Robinzon Diaz is also spelling Jason Jaramillo a day off behind the plate after a quick night-day turnaround. This will be Diaz’s first start for the Pirates this season.

And lastly, an update on lefty Phil Dumatrait, who is rehabbing his left shoulder in extended Spring Training. Dumatrait had his first setback — shoulder soreness — since the team left Bradenton and missed his latest rehab start, which the Pirates hoped would be 85-90 pitches in length. Farm Director Kyle Stark said that Dumatrait will be reevaluated on Monday to determine when he can resume throwing. There is no indication that this is anything more than expected soreness that comes with building up a pitcher’s arm. Dumatrait last pitched on Monday. 

Here are your Sunday lineups…

Pirates lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan (CF)
  2. Ramon Vazquez (2B)
  3. Brandon Moss (LF)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Eric Hinske (RF)
  6. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  7. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  8. Brian Bixler (SS)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)

Padres lineup:

  1. Jody Gerut (CF)
  2. David Eckstein (2B)
  3. Brian Giles (RF)
  4. Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
  5. Chase Headley (LF)
  6. Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B)
  7. Henry Blanco (C)
  8. Chris Burke (SS)
  9. Jake Peavy (RHP) 


This is our lineup? Oh boy. This could be a long afternoon in SD.

no kidding, that’s pretty ugly. we’re gonna need Mr. Ohlendorf to be on his game.


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