Keith Srakocic, Associated Press
Jason Bay is greeted by his teammates as he enters the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Padres in the sixth inning last night at PNC Park.
Who says the Pirates received zero return for their $10.7 million investment in Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Randa last season?
It was Randa, lest anyone forget, who spared them the indignation of being no-hit for the first time since Bob Gibson did it 37 years ago.
INDIANAPOLIS (30-20) beat Buffalo, 10-3. RHP Marty McLeary (3-1, 2.76) allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three. 1B Brad Eldred (.219) hit his first home run, a three-run shot, and went 1 for 3. CF Rajai Davis (.323) went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
ALTOONA (21-27) lost to Akron, 6-4. LHP Josh Shortslef (0-6, 3.81) allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. CF Andrew McCutchen (.219) went 0 for 4 with a walk and three strikeouts. 3B Neil Walker (.282) went 0 for 4 with a walk.
LYNCHBURG (25-24) lost to Frederick, 5-0. RHP Serguey Linares (0-1, 0.00), making his debut in high Class A, allowed four unearned runs and four hits in five innings. C Steve Lerud (.267) went 2 for 4.
HICKORY (21-28) beat Greenville, 13-3. RHP Henry Cabrera (3-3, 6.57) allowed three runs in five innings. RF Jonel Pacheco (.302) hit his 11th home run and went 3 for 5 with a double and three RBIs.
surely never will forget: On Sept. 22, 2006, in San Diego's Petco Park, Young had held the Pirates hitless through 8 1/3 innings when Randa stepped to the plate with a man aboard, then drilled a flat fastball deep into the center-field bleachers. Gone were the no-hitter -- the third time Young had taken one beyond the fifth inning last season -- and the shutout, too.
How often does he reflect on what might have been?
"At that point, it was an important game for us," Young replied with a shrug yesterday in the visitors' clubhouse at PNC Park. "We were competing for a division championship. I was just happy that we won that game."
The Padres' 6-2 victory that night helped them take the West Division, and Young won Game 3 of the National League Division Series by shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals through 6 2/3 innings.
Even so, come on ... no reflection at all on the near no-hitter?
"Honestly, I couldn't care less about personal goals. I got to pitch in a playoff game in October, and that meant much more to me."
Young will face the Pirates again tonight, and that is not a promising development for the team that drafted him seven years ago: He has faced them twice and is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA, including a complete-game, two-hit shutout June 4 at PNC Park.
Anything special there?
"No, just a couple of games where I felt good. Obviously, that can change. That was last year. I need to start all over with my game plan and execute my pitches."
The Pirates traded Young to the Montreal Expos Dec. 20, 2002, for reliever Matt Herges. The team released Herges the following spring training.
Bay player of week
Left fielder Jason Bay's monstrous weekend in Cincinnati helped win him National League player of the week honors yesterday.
He was 10 for 20 for the week and had two home runs and 10 RBIs, bringing an astronomical slugging percentage of .950 and an equally impressive on-base percentage of .571. And this despite going 2 for 10 with five strikeouts in St. Louis, just before arriving in Cincinnati.
Bay expressed hope that, even with the change in venue yesterday, he can extend his run.
"If you play in a place that's hitter-friendly, it does well for your statistics," he said. "But, when you leave there, you can take it with you. You're not thinking about deep flyouts to the track or scuffling in any way. It's a positive feeling."
Bay has been player of the week four times in his career.
Kuwata heading north
Masumi Kuwata, the Pirates' first Japanese signing, will join Class AAA Indianapolis' bullpen Friday -- and could make his North American debut that night against visiting Buffalo -- after missing two months to a severely sprained right ankle.
Kuwata is scheduled to pitch one more side session today in Bradenton, Fla., where some members of the Japanese media have covered every step of his rehabilitation.
Freddy Sanchez was replaced at second base with Jose Castillo for the ninth inning last night because of what manager Jim Tracy described as a "pinch" in the back of one of his shoulders. He called the move precautionary and would not rule out Sanchez returning tonight.
Ryan Doumit might not rejoin the starting lineup tonight, Tracy said, pending further concussion tests. But that was not ruled out, either. Tracy described Doumit as doing "much, much better."
Starter Serguey Linares, one of the two Cuban defectors the Pirates signed in the offseason, was promoted yesterday to high Class A Lynchburg. Linares, 24, had a 1.61 ERA in four starts with low Class A Hickory.
Former Pirates first baseman Craig Wilson, cut loose by the Atlanta Braves last week, was signed to a minor-league contract by the Chicago White Sox. He was assigned to Class AAA Charlotte in an attempt to get his swing back. The Pirates never contacted Wilson.