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Huntington takes long look at Alex White

• Thursday, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington was in Chestnut Hill, Mass., to watch North Carolina right-hander Alex White pitch against Boston College. White (7-3, 3.38 ERA) went seven innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits. The Pirates have the fourth overall pick in next month's amateur draft.

• White's advisor is Scott Boras. Last summer, it was Boras who guided Pirates' top pick Pedro Alvarez through a lengthy, messy contract dispute.

• Two other players Huntington scouted yesterday: UNC first baseman Dustin Ackley and BC catcher Tony Sanchez. Ackley could be gone before the Pirates make their first pick. Sanchez could be available when the Pirates use their supplemental first-round pick.

• Eric Hinske yesterday made his first start at third base since joining the Pirates. Hinske has 444 career appearances at third, but only 10 have come since 2006. "He's been working out there every day, so it's not like it's a foreign position to him," manager John Russell said.

• Russell said third baseman Andy LaRoche was given the day off simply to get a breather. In 25 games since April 16, LaRoche is batting .291 with nine doubles, one homer and 11 RBI.

DIGITS

9 -- Pitchers drafted in the first round by the Pirates over the past 13 years

1 -- Former first-round picks in the Pirates' starting rotation

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