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Karstens named NL Player of the Week

-- Jeff Karstens was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday. Karstens pitched a complete-game shutout Friday night in a 4-0 win over the Astros and became the first Pirates starter to win five consecutive decisions since Ian Snell in June 2006. "It's an honor, just for us as a team to get recognition now," Karstens said. "We had three All-Stars, and now, to get (Player of the Week), it means a lot to us. But my biggest goal is to get us farther than what we're doing now." This is Karstens' first career Player of the Week award.

-- Manager Clint Hurdle said the front office is "making connections everywhere" in the search for possible trade acquisitions, but he declined to identify the team's greatest needs in order of priority, saying that's an internal matter. "But even what we identify as our need, to find someone to play ball along those lines is the other challenge that goes along with it," he said.

-- In regard to whether he worries about the possibility of acquiring a player who might adversely affect the team chemistry, Hurdle said, "We're going to do enough homework where that guy won't get in the door, if there is that guy out there."

-- Ryan Doumit is progressing with his exercise program, but there's still no date for when he might return to game action. "We just know the more activity he's taken on he's pulled off and gotten to a good place," Hurdle said. "Hopefully, it'll be soon."

Additional Information:

Pirates game day

vs. CINCINNATI REDS

7:05 P.M., PNC Park

TV/radio: Root Sports, WPGB-FM (104.7), XM 186

Reds starter: RHP Mike Leake (8-4, 4.28 ERA)

Pirates starter: RHP James McDonald (5-4, 4.42 ERA)

Wednesday: 12:35 p.m., PNC Park, Pirates' right-hander Jeff Karstens (8-4, 2.34 ERA) vs. RHP Johny Cueto (5-3, 2.01 ERA).

Thursday: Off.

Friday: 7:05 p.m., PNC Park vs. St. Louis Cardinals, left-hander Paul Maholm (6-9, 3.06 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Carpenter (5-7, 3.69 ERA).

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