The market is mounting for the Pirates' most likely trade pieces, outfielder Xavier Nady and reliever Damaso Marte.
Add the New York Yankees to the list of potential suitors for Nady, as they have become desperate enough to bolster their offense against left-handed pitching to be considering recently released Richie Sexson, who batted .218 before the Seattle Mariners swallowed $7 million of his salary last week. Nady has a career .320 average against left-handers.
INDIANAPOLIS (44-53) lost to Toledo, 1-0. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (0-1, 3.00), making his first Class AAA start since being demoted, allowed one run and four hits in three innings. He struck out three, walked one and threw 25 of 40 pitches for strikes. RHP Evan Meek (3.71) pitched two scoreless innings of relief. 1B Steve Pearce (.263) and 3B Neil Walker (.229) each went 0 for 2.
ALTOONA (39-53) was suspended by rain at Erie.
LYNCHBURG (41-50) lost at Wilmington, 10-9. RHP Mike Crotta (7-6, 5.12) allowed six runs, four earned, and eight hits in five innings. 2B Jim Negrych (.361) hit his third home run and went 3 for 5 with a double. 1B Jamie Romak (.305), in his first game at a position other than right field, went 3 for 5 with a double.
HICKORY (40-52) won at Hagerstown, 4-1. RHP Brad Lincoln (5-5, 4.65) pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed four hits. He struck out seven, walked two. 3B Matt Hague (.375) hit his fifth home run and went 2 for 4 with a double.
STATE COLLEGE (6-18) won at Brooklyn, 1-0. RHP Ryan Kelly (0-1, 6.06) pitched two scoreless innings and allowed two hits. SS Andy Vasquez (.371) went 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI and a steal.
BRADENTON (9-10) lost to the Orioles, 1-0. LHP Nelson Pereira (1-0, 1.50) pitched three scoreless innings and allowed three hits.
Moreover, he has the background of playing with the Mets, wiping away any concern that he might wilt in the New York spotlight.
The Tampa Bay Rays, who are loaded with prospects, also are interested, as are the New York Mets, who are far from loaded in that area. The Atlanta Braves have tested the water but remain on the periphery.
Teams continue to ask about outfielder Jason Bay, too, but the Pirates, while not slamming down the phone on anyone, are maintaining the stance that they prefer to keep him.
One national report linked Nady and Bay to the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals, but sources on all three fronts, including the Pirates, yesterday debunked that.
Meanwhile, as many as a dozen teams now have inquired about Marte, and he might be the most-sought left-handed reliever in a market hungry for that commodity. The others being shopped are the Colorado Rockies' Brian Fuentes and the Kansas City Royals' Ron Mahay.
The Cardinals are in on Marte, as are the Yankees, Mets, Rays and Boston Red Sox.
Gorzelanny gives up one
Tom Gorzelanny, making his first start for Class AAA Indianapolis, was charged with one run, four hits -- two doubles -- and a walk in his scheduled three innings last night against visiting Toledo. He struck out three and threw 25 of 40 pitches for strikes.
Despite the Pirates' gaping holes in the rotation, manager John Russell said, Gorzelanny will not be rushed.
"Bringing him back is not the answer," Russell said. "Sending him down for one game isn't going to do him any good. Obviously, we need arms, but we're looking at his future."
• Phil Dumatrait, back on the disabled list with left shoulder bursitis, said he does not expect to have a fresh round of tests because the feeling in the shoulder is "identical." He could throw today or tomorrow.
• Franquelis Osoria, fresh off the disabled list, acknowledged that his aching heel had a detrimental impact on his sinker for two or three weeks. He added that, once the heel healed, his sinker was "very good" during his rehabilitation stint with Indianapolis.
• Indianapolis' Ty Taubenheim, on the minor league disabled list because of elbow trouble, could pitch again as soon as this week.
• St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who has been batting his pitcher eighth a couple years now, on Russell's decision to do likewise: "I don't like the Pirates doing it. I think it gives them a better chance to score runs against us."