Pirates Notebook: Burnett to see elbow specialist

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MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT

Tuesday's results

INDIANAPOLIS (46-38) lost at Louisville, 13-4. LHP Sean Burnett (4-6, 4.48) exited after one inning because of elbow pain. He allowed three runs and three hits, struck out two, walked three and threw 16 of 33 pitches for strikes. RHP Jesse Chavez (3.38) pitched three scoreless innings of relief. RHP Brian Rogers (3.08) allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings. SS Brian Bixler (.301) went 1 for 5.

ALTOONA (42-39) beat Bowie, 4-3, in 11 innings. RHP Dewon Brazelton (1-1, 2.84) allowed two runs in six innings. CF Andrew McCutchen (.239) hit his fifth home run and went 2 for 4. 1B Steve Pearce (.330) went 1 for 5.

LYNCHBURG (36-44) lost to Salem, 12-8. RHP Luis Valdez (2-3, 6.56) allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. DH Brad Corley (.269) hit his eighth home run, a three-run shot, and went 2 for 4. RF Jamie Romak (.265) hit his 12th home run -- seventh with the Hillcats -- and went 1 for 5.

HICKORY (33-46) beat Augusta, 1-0, in 13 innings. RHP Henry Cabrera (3-4, 5.47) pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed six hits. 1B Jared Keel (.280) went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk.

STATE COLLEGE (10-5) beat Batavia, 9-3. RHP Brian Tracy (2-0, 1.80), son of Pirates manager Jim Tracy, allowed one run in four innings. C Nick Stillwagon (.323) hit his first home run and went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.

BRADENTON (5-7) lost to the Reds, 5-2. RHP Francisco Ortiz (0-3, 8.49) allowed three runs in five innings. 3B Carlos Silva (.265) went 2 for 4 with an RBI.


Sean Burnett

's career could be in jeopardy again.

Citing continuing pain in his surgically repaired left elbow, the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2000 pulled himself out of Class AAA Indianapolis' game last night in Louisville, Ky., after pitching one inning. He gave up three runs and three hits and three walks, throwing only 16 of 33 pitches for strikes.

Burnett had similar discomfort a month ago and was examined by the Pirates' medical staff June 6, after which he was cleared to return after a short rehabilitation period.

Now, agent Jim Munsey said late last night, Burnett plans to exercise his right to a second opinion and will visit Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist in Birmingham, Ala., at the earliest opportunity.

"We have to get this right," Munsey said.

Burnett, 24, the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2000, had reconstructive elbow surgery in late 2004, after his rookie season. In 14 starts for Indianapolis this year, he is 4-6 with a 4.48 ERA.

He would be the second pitcher in a week -- Zach Duke was the other -- to seek a second opinion from Dr. Andrews about elbow trouble.

Bay seeking swing

Jason Bay still is searching for answers after his 0-for-4, two-strikeout day in the Pirates' 6-2 victory against Milwaukee yesterday. His average has plummeted from .312 to .256 since June 4, and he has gone 13 for 98 in that span -- a .132 clip -- with one home run and nine RBIs.

Not exactly All-Star stuff.

"It's not that I'm not getting pitches to hit," Bay said afterward. "The last couple days, especially, I'm seeing the ball. Usually, when I'm going bad, I'm just kind of flailing and not seeing it at all. I feel like I'm picking the right pitches. I feel like my swings are good. But I'm just fouling them all off."

Or missing entirely. Thirty of his season's 80 strikeouts have come in this span.

Manager Jim Tracy tried lowering Bay to sixth in the order Monday but had him back at fifth yesterday. His plan: Keep running Bay out there until he figures it out.

Nady's foot ailing

Despite reaching third base twice on hits yesterday, right fielder Xavier Nady showed Tracy signs that his left foot -- the instep of which was struck by a foul ball Monday -- might be bothering him.

"We'll have to see how he is tomorrow," Tracy said.

Tracy defends Torres' rehab

Tracy backed general manager Dave Littlefield's stance that injured reliever Salomon Torres is not being blackballed with a lengthy rehabilitation schedule, as Torres charged Monday.

"This is a rehab situation," Tracy said. "We're dealing with what was diagnosed as a ligament strain. Until the head trainer comes in and says this is no longer medical in nature, this is a baseball decision. ... I haven't heard those words yet."

Torres is scheduled to make his first rehabilitation game appearance tomorrow for Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League.

Cautious with Bullington

Bryan Bullington, the pitcher with the best numbers in the minor-league system, might well have started last night at PNC Park had he been healthy. But, as Littlefield acknowledged, Bullington's health was one of the issues in his decision to promote Shane Youman instead.

Bullington, now 9-4 with a 3.66 ERA, missed two turns in Indianapolis' rotation in mid-June because of discomfort in his surgically repaired right shoulder. And his two starts after coming back were erratic.

"He had some stiffness and fatigue, which is part of the process in coming back from shoulder surgery, so we want to be appropriately cautious," Littlefield said. "Also, Shane was doing a fine job, was throwing a little better, and we felt he gave us a better chance to win at the major-league level."

Buried treasure

The Pirates have gone a season-high 88 consecutive innings without an error.

Jack Wilson's run in the fourth inning came with a big assist from Freddy Sanchez, the batter on deck. As Wilson was approaching home, Sanchez, seeing that the throw from the outfield was going to pull catcher Johnny Estrada to the outside of the plate, emphatically waved both arms for Wilson to slide to the inside. After Wilson was safe, he gestured appreciatively to Sanchez.

The Chicago Cubs' rotation for the weekend series: Jason Marquis, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano.



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