Pirates Notebook: Duke ditches memory of previous start
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MILWAUKEE -- Zach Duke, the Pirates' starter today, has addressed the worst outing of his career -- seven runs in two innings Friday against the San Francisco Giants -- but not by watching the video.
"No chance of that," he said. "I've been studying Milwaukee's hitters when I watch video. That other one ... it's behind me. I'm moving on."
Duke has had two sideline sessions since then, primarily to keep his arm fresh but also to focus on regaining command of his fastball.
"When I was on, before that start, I had the fastball working down and to each side. These sessions have been good."
The chances seem good for a rebound: The only other time Duke pitched fewer than five innings in the past two seasons, a 2 1/3-inning outing against the Brewers in July, he came back with 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Giants.
Sanchez right back
Freddy Sanchez was back in the Pirates' lineup last night after missing one game because of a sore left wrist, but manager Jim Tracy said the team will continue to monitor the matter.
"You always want to keep an eye on something like that," Tracy said.
Tracy said Sanchez's discomfort might have originated with a nerve in the hand.
The Pirates' starters for the three-game set in Los Angeles that begins tomorrow: Tony Armas, Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny. Duke and Snell have been pitching every fifth day regardless of the rotation.
Jeff Suppan, Milwaukee's starter today, is off to a 1-2 start after signing that four-year, $42 million contract, but his 3.72 ERA suggests he has pitched better than that.
Reliever John Grabow had been scheduled to pitch last night for Class AAA Indianapolis but did not. It was not immediately clear why. Grabow has made two seamless appearances in his minor-league rehabilitation, and Tracy said yesterday his recovering elbow was "doing fine."
INDIANAPOLIS (8-3) won at Norfolk, 10-5. LHP Sean Burnett (3-0, 3.86) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out one, walked two and threw a wild pitch. Only 48 of his 84 pitches were strikes. DH Ryan Doumit (.438) went 2 for 4 with two walks and two RBIs. 1B Yurendell DeCaster (.250) went 3 for 5 with a double.
ALTOONA (4-5) won at Bowie, 3-0. RHP Kip Bouknight (1-0, 2.77) pitched seven shutout innings and allowed one hit. LHP Dave Davidson (3.60) allowed one run in two innings to record his first save. CF Vic Buttler (.238) went 3 for 4 with an RBI. 3B Neil Walker (.278) went 1 for 4. CF Andrew McCutchen (.111) played as a defensive replacement.
LYNCHBURG (4-5) won at Frederick, 5-2. RHP Derek Hankins (2-0, 0.87) allowed one run in five innings. RF Brad Corley (.235) hit his first home run, a three-run shot.
HICKORY (6-4) won at Lexington, 13-7. RHP Mike Crotta (0-0, 3.00) pitched one scoreless inning before a rain delay forced his exit. RF Jamie Romak (.306) went 2 for 4 with a walk.
First Published April 18, 2007 11:20 pm