Pirates' Presley called to majors

| Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 7:02 p.m.

Alex Presley wanted to get back to the big leagues quickly, but he also wanted to do it right.

Presley returned to the Pirates and was back in his spot batting leadoff Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds after three weeks and 18 games spent working on his timing and rhythm at Triple-A Indianapolis.

“There was definitely a sense of urgency when I was down there to get things how I wanted it,” said Presley, who homered and tripled. “I was able to do that fairly quickly, and I was happy with how I performed.”

Presley was hitting .220 in 34 games with the Pirates before he was optioned to Triple-A on May 16. There, the 26-year-old outfielder hit .277 (18 for 65) with two doubles, three triples, five home runs, 14 RBI and 14 runs scored. Four of those home runs and 10 of the RBI came in the past 10 games, when he averaged .303 (10 for 33).

“The reports specifically within the last week have just been positive all over the place,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “His hands are in a good place, he's barreling up the ball from line to line, hitting balls hard, swinging at strikes and taking balls, and he's been very aggressive on the bases.”

• Gorkys Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A as the corresponding roster move, and Presley started in left field in place of Jose Tabata. “We need some juice at the top (of the lineup),” Hurdle said. “Jose's in a position that many of our guys are in; they're trying hard and working hard and we're not getting the results. We're hoping Alex can come back and give us a shot in the arm at the top of the lineup.”

• Pedro Alvarez, who did not play Sunday, had another day off yesterday. Casey McGehee got the start at third base. Hurdle said in the past he's usually given struggling players three days off, and regular off days, as Monday was, don't count in the equation. “We had a little talk (Tuesday), (Alvarez) went out and hit early, and this will be the second day (off),” Hurdle said. “I anticipate there being another day, unless something happens to somebody.”

• Tabata, who had some discomfort and cramping in his left leg last week, said he's OK. Hurdle also said that, physically, Tabata is able to play and was available off the bench last night.

• Nate McLouth, released last week by the Pirates, signed a minor league deal with Baltimore and will report to Triple-A Norfolk. The Pirates are responsible for the balance of the $1.75 million he's owed this year.

— Karen Price

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