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Pirates notebook: Presley likely to come off DL on Tuesday

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates left fielder Alex Presley dives for a ball during the first inning against the Astros on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, at PNC Park.

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at BREWERS7:10 p.m. Saturday, Miller Park, Milwaukee

TV/radio: Root Sports/KDKA-FM (93.7), WCNS-AM (1480), WJPA-AM (1450), Pirates Radio Network, XM 185

Probable starters: Pirates RHP Kevin Correia (5-6, 4.34 ERA) vs. Brewers RHP Marco Estrada (0-3, 4.06)

2:10 p.m. Sunday: Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett (10-2, 3.68) vs. Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (7-6, 3.74)

8:40 p.m. Monday: Pirates RHP Jeff Karstens (2-2, 3.94) vs. Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (2-2, 5.19)

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, July 13, 2012, 7:54 p.m.

MILWAUKEE — The Pirates shook off a few nagging injuries during their four-day All-Star break.

Left fielder Alex Presley (concussion) worked out without a problem during the off days, and on Saturday, he will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis.

If all goes well, Presley likely will come off the disabled list Tuesday and join the Pirates in Denver for their series against the Rockies.

“I feel good,” Presley said Friday. “I haven't had any symptoms for a few days, and I didn't hold back anything (in workouts).”

Presley was injured July 3 while attempting to make a diving catch.

First baseman Casey McGehee (strained groin) and catcher Rod Barajas (bruised knee) were back in the Pirates' lineup Friday against the Brewers.

“I wasn't sure how it was going to respond,” said McGehee, who was injured Sunday while running to first base. “But I got out there (Thursday) in our workout and was moving around pretty good. The four days (off) did me good.”

• The Pirates have won seven straight series against National League Central foes. According to Elias, that's the longest winning streak against division opponents in the majors this season. The last time the Pirates had a stretch like this was 1992, when they strung together 10 series wins against NL East opponents.

Neil Walker hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning Friday, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, the team's longest this season. Walker's career longest streak is 18 games, set in 2010. At the All-Star break, Walker led NL second basemen in on-base percentage (.356), was tied for second in doubles (21) and was fourth in RBI (41).

• Surging to the top of the NL Central standings earned the Pirates a lot of national attention at the break. Will it continue? “That's up to us,” McGehee said. “If we continue to warrant it, we'll continue to get it. If not, everyone will find something else to talk about. I think there's still a large (number) of people who attach a negative stigma to the Pirates. That's OK. Hopefully, we can keep flying under the radar, doing what we're doing, and we'll see where it gets us.”

• The Pirates are at the start of a stretch in which they will play 16 of 22 games on the road.

— Rob Biertempfel

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