MILWAUKEE -- According to a Fox Sports story, the Los Angeles Dodgers have contacted the Pirates about the availability of shortstop Jack Wilson.
The Dodgers, given an opening in the National League West by Arizona's slump, want to acquire a shortstop in the wake of back surgery for their shortstop, Rafael Furcal, wo will be sidelined for eight weeks.
INDIANAPOLIS (41-48) lost to Louisville, 4-2. LHP Corey Hamman (0-0, 3.65) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. 1B Craig Wilson (.220) hit his 10th home run, a two-run shot, and went 1 for 4. CF Andrew McCutchen (.280) and 3B Neil Walker (.230) each went 1 for 4.
ALTOONA (36-49) lost to Harrisburg, 12-2. LHP Kyle Bloom (0-4, 5.02) allowed one run and four hits in five innings. RHP Pat Bresnehan (4.88) allowed three runs in one inning of relief.
LYNCHBURG (38-47) beat Salem, 2-1. LHP Tony Watson (5-8, 3.69) pitched six scoreless innings and allowed three hits. He struck out seven, walked two. SS Jose De Los Santos (.345) and 1B Miles Durham (.161) each went 3 for 4.
HICKORY (36-49) beat Columbus, 8-4. RHP Brad Clapp (2-6, 3.64) allowed two runs, one earned, and seven hits in five innings. 1B Matt Hague (.367) went 3 for 5 with a double and three RBIs.
STATE COLLEGE (4-12) beat Vermont, 12-0. RHP Gary Amato (1-1, 6.39) pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed one hit. DH Cole White (.348) went 3 for 5 with two doubles, a walk and two RBIs. 3B Matt Payne (.409) went 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs.
BRADENTON (7-6) lost to the Twins, 17-3. RHP Malvin Vasquez (0-0, 0.00) pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed two hits. 3B Jarek Cunningham (.364) went 3 for 4 with a double.
Wilson is from the Los Angeles area and under contract for next season. Furcal, a potential free agent, is not.
"We're in the rumor season, and it's going to be a very active season for rumors," said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, mindful that the non-waiver trading deadline is July 31. "We don't comment on specific trade rumors."
The Pirates, thin at shortstop behind Wilson, are not seeking to trade Wilson, but they're always looking to bolster their sagging minor league system. They would ask for top-tier prospects in any deal involving Wilson -- or anybody on their 25-man major league roster.
Thursday was a day off for the Pirates. Well, most of them anyway.
Pitching coach Jeff Andrews and pitchers Phil Dumatrait, Ian Snell, Franquelis Osoria, Denny Bautista and Tom Gorzelanny were at Miller Park at 8:30 in the morning to do some throwing.
"Had to be done," Andrews said.
Dumatrait and Snell remain on schedule to come off the disabled list Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Sanchez sits again
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, batting just .193 since June 1, was not in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game.
"He's been working very hard on his swing, and it just got to the point where he was pressing a little bit," manager John Russell said.
McLouth feeling weak
Center fielder Nate McLouth also didn't start yesterday.
He became ill with a virus early in the game Wednesday night in Cincinnati, but managed to get through the game.
He spent almost all Thursday in bed here.
"He's still feeling pretty bad," Russell said yesterday. "He's kind of weak."
McLouth was available to pinch-hit yesterday and should return to the lineup tonight.
Frustrated for his friend
Sean Burnett feels for John Van Benschoten, his close friend who continues to struggle at the major league level.
"Things probably haven't gone the way he wanted them to," Burnett said.
"He's a talented kid. I think he's proved that in Triple-A. It's just that at this level, it's been a little difficult for him."
"Oh, absolutely," Burnett said. "I know for a fact this has been frustrating for him. I'm not sure if he pitches so well [in Class AAA] and then comes up here and presses a little bit. I think it's just a matter of time. He just needs that one game where it clicks, and his confidence will boost up and he'll just be the normal Johnny V. He's worked [hard] and he deserves it."
• Doug Mientkiewicz is recovering nicely from a poor first two months at the plate. Batting just .205 through May 31, he is 20 for 54 (.370) since, raising his average to .268. "Usually, I get better as the summer goes along," Mientkiewicz said. "I'd be lying to you if I said that at the beginning of the year moving around position-wise didn't affect my offense. I put so much concentration on playing third base that maybe I didn't go to the plate as free and easy as I should have."
• Rickie Weeks still hasn't solved Gorzelanny. The Milwaukee second baseman went 0 for 3 against the left-hander yesterday, making him 0 for 14 lifetime.