Pirates Notebook: LaRoche asks fans to lay off Bay

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MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT

Wednesday's results

INDIANAPOLIS (47-38) beat Louisville, 4-3. RHP Luis Munoz (1-0, 4.50), promoted from Class AA Altoona for one start, allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one. RHP Josh Sharpless (3.41) pitched a perfect inning of relief and struck out two. RHP Franquelis Osoria (2.08) pitched two scoreless innings for his ninth save. 1B Brad Eldred (.217) hit his seventh home run and went 3 for 4 with two RBIs.

ALTOONA (42-40) lost at Trenton, 10-0, in a game shortened by rain to five innings. The Curve had no hits but seven walks against Trenton RHP Brett Smith. Altoona RHP Mike Crotta (0-1, 10.13) allowed seven runs, three earned, in 2 2/3 innings. DH Steve Pearce (.329), 3B Neil Walker (.299) and CF Andrew McCutchen (.237) each went hitless in two plate appearances.

LYNCHBURG (36-45) lost to Salem, 5-3. LHP Kyle Bloom (7-7, 4.68) allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings. C Steve Lerud (.216) went 2 for 3.

HICKORY (33-47) lost to Augusta, 6-5. RHP Jose Diaz (1-0, 3.00) allowed two runs in six innings. DH Jared Keel (.285) hit his 11th home run and went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk and two RBIs.

STATE COLLEGE (11-5) beat Williamsport, 7-6, in 10 innings. RHP Nicolas Suero (1-0, 3.71) allowed six runs, five earned, in six innings. SS Michael Ambrose (.324) hit his first home run and went 2 for 3 with a double.

BRADENTON (5-8) lost to the Orioles, 2-1. RHP Kyle McPherson (1-1, 5.73) allowed two runs in five innings. CF Quincy Latimore (.278) went 1 for 3 with a double.


Adam LaRoche

was asked, after his big day in the Pirates' 5-3 victory against Milwaukee, how it felt to get cheered by the crowd of 35,878 after nearly half a season of being booed.

And he responded by calling upon the team's fans to lay off struggling left fielder Jason Bay.

"It's nice. It's really nice after, obviously, getting booed a lot," LaRoche said of the crowd's standing ovation for his two-run home run in the sixth inning that broke a 3-3 tie. "But now ... it's unbelievable, but I'm hearing boos for Jason Bay."

He paused and shook his head.

"I can understand booing me. I was the new guy here, there were some expectations, and I sucked. But, I mean ... you're talking about Jason Bay, one of the most consistent hitters in the big leagues. That's pretty weak to boo him. If you're loving that player when he's going well, you've got to stick with him when he's not."

Bay, benched again yesterday by manager Jim Tracy because of his 13-for-98 tailspin, heard some boos Sunday at PNC Park and many more Tuesday night when he went hitless in four at-bats.

Other players were upset about the booing of Bay, too, but LaRoche was the first to speak publicly about it.

When will Bay be back?

Tracy met with Bay yesterday afternoon before again scratching him from the lineup against Milwaukee. Bay sat out the Saturday game against Washington, too.

"Jason is in a rut right now," Tracy said. "And I feel we've got to take the steps necessary for him to have some breathing room."

But why rest Bay, Tracy was asked, when his career numbers against Claudio Vargas, the Brewers' starter, are 6 for 11 with two home runs?

"Jason's numbers were pretty good against Chris Capuano, too," Tracy said of the Brewers' starter Tuesday. "And that didn't make a difference."

Tracy did not say if Bay will return today for the series finale.

Doumit impressing

Tracy was delighted by Ryan Doumit's two-run home run yesterday, to say the least, but he elected to focus on his defense afterward.

"He plays a very good right field," Tracy said. "And I think we're starting to see the reputation of that throwing arm out there is getting around. We're seeing now on a base hit or fly ball that there's no thought being given to an extra base."

Prince Fielder hit a one-out double in the sixth inning and advanced only to third on Johnny Estrada's single to Doumit. Fielder is not among the game's fleetest of foot, but he still has an aggressive tendency on the basepaths.

A fine double play started by second baseman Freddy Sanchez ended that inning without a run for the Brewers.

Doumit has made 22 appearances in right field and has three assists and one error.

Buried treasure

Xavier Nady, who moved to left field to take Bay's place, said he was feeling "better" after a foul ball struck the outside of his left foot Monday.

Reliever Salomon Torres will be limited to 25 pitches in his first rehabilitation game today for Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League.

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said Fielder will be given the day off today.

The crowd of 35,878 fell just short of being the third sellout of the season, but it still ranked as the third-largest. The Fourth of July crowd last year was an overflow 37,259.

Pitcher Marty McLeary, removed from the Pirates' 40-man roster June 30, has re-signed with Class AAA Indianapolis and will start for that team tomorrow.

Shortstop Brian Bixler, the Pirates' only position-player prospect on Class AAA Indianapolis' active roster, yesterday was named that team's player of the month for June after batting .283 with two home runs and 11 steals.



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