Share This Page

Bucs' Hurdle looks for opportunities for Paul

Manager Clint Hurdle is trying to find ways to get outfielder Xavier Paul into the lineup.

"I would really like to make sure that while we have Xavier, I can get a good read on him," Hurdle said. "I'm not so sure he can't fit a need here, and not just as a utility player."

Going into Friday night's game, Paul had six hits in his past seven at-bats. On Thursday, he collected a career-best four hits, scored three runs and stole two bases.

» The Pirates left the NL East in 1994, when MLB realigned and created the NL Central. As a result, the Phillies, who had a fierce rivalry with the Pirates in the 1970s and '80s, usually come to PNC Park just once a season these days.

"I grew up with the Pirates in the East," Hurdle said. "Common sense says we're geographically located in the East. I can understand maybe why we moved, but if I had a vote, I'd vote for us to be back in the East."

» Until Thursday, Pirates starting pitchers had gone 13 straight games without allowing more than two earned runs. Left-hander Paul Maholm broke the string by giving up six earned runs in 5.2 innings against the New York Mets. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest stretch in the majors this year and the Pirates' longest run since Sept. 13-27, 1968.

» After reaching a high of .280 on May 2, Garrett Jones' batting average plunged more than 70 points by the end of the month.

"It was a very hard May for Garrett," Hurdle said, adding that Jones is not counter-punching well enough as pitchers learn his tendencies. "Until that gets figured out, the beat is going to go on because they're not going to change what they're doing. He has to throw a different look at them, get outside his comfort zone and hit some pitches that he's been taking for strikes. It's a challenge. In his case, at the age of 29, it's time. He needs to throw down something here."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.