Harrison's HR snaps streak
Nationals left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez was the only starter in the majors to work at least 20 innings and not allow a home run this season. That changed when Josh Harrison stepped to the plate in the seventh inning Wednesday and smacked a two-run homer.
“I tried to work the count a little bit in that at-bat,” said Harrison, who is not known for his patience at the plate. “I was in a 2-1 count, and he threw a fastball over the plate.”
Harrison launched the ball over the Pirates' bullpen and into the seats, ending Gonzalez's homerless streak at 58 innings.
“It was good to see,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “A good swing of the bat. And to add a little more excitement, we started him at third and he finished in left.”
Harrison played the final two innings in left but didn't have a ball hit to him. Now that Alex Presley is back in the minors, Harrison might get a bit more time in the outfield.
“It's been a while since I'd been out there,” Harrison said. “I was ready for any ball that came.”
• The addition of Evan Meek on Wednesday gave the Pirates eight relievers. But Hurdle said the club has considered staying with an enlarged bullpen, even though the designated hitter will reduce the bench to three players during the series this weekend against Detroit. “It does give you an easier time navigating in the American League if you're a position player short,” Hurdle said. “There's no double-switching, no pinch-hitting for the pitcher.”
• The Pirates are 81-130 in interleague play, including a 12-15 mark against the Tigers. “It's always good to go back to Detroit,” said Hurdle, a Michigan native. “I don't get misty-eyed, but my heart beats when I see the Old English ‘D” on the Tigers' uniforms. That takes me back to some young days in Michigan.” Hurdle and a few Pirates players will visit the Detroit Lions' training facility this morning.
• This weekend, Hurdle will match wits with Tigers skipper Jim Leyland. “I know that if I'm in the dugout and Jimmy's in the other dugout, I'm probably in a pretty good place,” Hurdle said. “I have that much personal and professional respect for him.”
• Righty Jeff Karstens (shoulder inflammation) will throw a bullpen session today. After that, he'll be re-evaluated and the Pirates will plot the next step of his rehab process.
— Rob Biertempfel
Show commenting policy
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.