Pirates Notebook: Chavez has 1-2-3 debut
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INDIANAPOLIS (65-74) lost to Louisville, 7-5. RHP Daniel McCutchen (6-9, 4.28) allowed six runs and nine hits - four home runs -- in four innings. He struck out five, walked none. RHP John Van Benschoten (3.94) allowed one run and two hits in two innings of relief. RF Steve Pearce (.259) hit his 12th home run and went 3 for 5 with two RBIs. 3B Neil Walker (.240) went 1 for 3 with a walk. CF Andrew McCutchen (.278) went 0 for 3 with a walk.
ALTOONA (61-75) was rained out at Akron.
LYNCHBURG (54-80) and Frederick were rained out.
HICKORY (50-84) lost at Augusta, 9-2. RHP Duke Welker (3-13, 5.68) allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings. SS Jordy Mercer (.240) went 1 for 4 with a double.
STATE COLLEGE (14-50) lost at Jamestown, 6-3. RHP Brian Leach (1-2, 3.72) allowed two runs and three hits in one inning. RF David Rubinstein (.229) went 2 for 3 with a walk and RBI.
BRADENTON (37-19) lost to the Reds, 3-2 in 11 innings, to complete their Gulf Coast League season. RHP Zach Foster (1-2, 3.99) allowed two runs and five hits in four innings. LF Wes Freeman (.182) went 3 for 4.
Jesse Chavez has been among Class AAA Indianapolis' most dependable relievers since former general manager Dave Littlefield acquired him in the Kip Wells trade at the July 2006 deadline, but he never reached the majors until his promotion yesterday.
"I'm just so happy to be here," Chavez said. "Can't believe it."
Chavez probably would have been a September callup, anyway, but the implosion of Craig Hansen Tuesday night - three walks, one hit, zero outs -- prompted management to demote him to Indianapolis. It is possible Hansen will be back in September.
Chavez, 25, had a 3.80 ERA in 51 appearances, with 70 strikeouts and 22 walks in 68 2/3 innings. He also had a staff-best 14 saves, indicative of the heavy late-inning workload he has carried the past two years.
"I've felt I've thrown pretty well for a while now," Chavez said. "I've just worked to be as consistent as possible, make my pitches, get guys out."
Chavez throws hard, more than some might expect from a slight 6-foot-2, 175-pound build, but he also has an effective changeup and slider.
"It's a little unusual watching him pitch and seeing all that he gets behind his pitches," pitching coach Jeff Andrews said. "I'm happy for him, glad he's here. He's worked really hard, and he deserves the chance."
Nothing Chavez showed yesterday would refute that: In his major league debut, he put down the Chicago Cubs 1-2-3 in the ninth inning, including a swinging strikeout - 94 mph, upstairs - of Henry Blanco to punctuate it.
• To clear space on the 40-man roster, starter Phil Dumatrait was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day. He is out for the season, anyway.
• Closer Matt Capps has added a 12-6 curveball -- straight up, straight down - to his repertoire. He tried it out Tuesday and froze Chicago's Ryan Theriot for a third strike.
• Milwaukee ace CC Sabathia, 8-0 with a 1.59 ERA since joining the Brewers, is scheduled to pitch Sunday at PNC Park.
First Published August 28, 2008 12:00 am