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Bucs' Snell continues to dazzle in Indy

Sunday, right-hander Ian Snell (2-2) allowed two runs on nine hits in five innings for Triple-A Indianapolis, which lost 2-1 against Buffalo.

The New York Yankees, who are in the market for a starting pitcher, had a scout at the game.

Snell, who has indicated he does not want to return to the Pirates, has a 0.96 ERA and 51 strikeouts in six starts for Indy.

• Indy's lone run against Buffalo came on Brian Bixler's sixth home run. Bixler started at shortstop yesterday, but he also has been playing a lot at second base and center field.

"It's kind of a change, but it hasn't been too hard," Bixler said.

No longer the Pirates' top shortstop prospect — that title now goes to Argenis Diaz — Bixler might have future value as a utility player.

• Andrew McCutchen yesterday racked up the Pirates' 29th outfield assist, tops in the majors. The Pirates had 27 outfield assists last year and 31 in 2007.

• Phil Dumatrait tossed four innings in a rehab start for short-season Class A State College. Dumatrait gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits and struck out four. The left-hander will continue his comeback this week with Double-A Altoona.

• Tickets for a limited number of left- and right-field seats for next weekend's series against the Washington Nationals will cost $14. The price was discounted by $1 for each run the Pirates scored in the past three games against the Diamondbacks.

• There was a buzz of speculation Saturday night on the Internet after Lastings Milledge was taken out of Indianapolis' lineup after one at-bat. Was a call-up imminent• Had there been another trade• No. Turns out Milledge was ejected for tossing his helmet after striking out.

DIGITS

11 — Games in which the Pirates have been shut out this season, the most in the majors

3 — Times the Pirates have been blanked in back-to-back games

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