McGehee HR gets silent reception

| Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 8:24 p.m.

CINCINNATI — Casey McGehee is no rookie, but he still got the silent treatment from his teammates after he hit his first home run as a Pirate on Tuesday night against the Reds.

“Yeah, but they didn't set it up very good,” McGehee said Wednesday. “They were a little late. I was between second and third and I happened to see them all scrambling to get back to their seats, so I had a feeling it was coming. I probably deserved it. It had been a while.”

With the struggling Pedro Alvarez temporarily out of the lineup, McGehee made his third start in a row at third base last night. In the previous three games, he was 3 for 8 with two RBI. That's just two fewer hits than he had in 48 at-bats in May (.104) after hitting .269 in April.

“I started off the year hitting .280, then 40 at-bats later I'm looking up at .200,” McGehee said. “So it can go south in a hurry, just like you can get hot in a hurry. I think the thing is to not get too wrapped up in the numbers, just keep having good at-bats and keep working on your swing, making sure it's in a good place.”

McGehee is only two years removed from hitting .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBI for the Milwaukee Brewers. He slipped to .223-13-67 with the Brewers last season.

• With three home runs Tuesday night, the Pirates brought their two-night total to seven — including Sunday's series finale at Milwaukee — and three-game total to eight after going four games without a home run. Going into last night, the Pirates had homered 11 times in their last seven games at Great American Ball Park.

• Manager Clint Hurdle praised Alex Presley, who had a triple and a home run in his first game back with the Pirates after returning from Triple-A on Tuesday. Hurdle liked Tuesday's lineup enough that he used the same one last night, giving Presley another start in left field. “That's the kid we saw last year through the summer and the kid who was playing down (in Indianapolis) the last 10 days,” Hurdle said. “You could see almost immediately there was a calmness at the plate, taking pitches, swinging at strikes, taking balls. He's got to feel really good.”

• Right-handed reliever Chris Leroux (strained right pectoral muscle) made a rehab start for High-A Bradenton last night. He allowed one earned run and two hits in three innings. Leroux struck out two and walked one. Leroux was placed on the 60-day disabled list in April.

— Karen Price

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