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Pirates notebook: Martin stands up for pitcher, gets ejected

AP
Pirates catcher Russell Martin (front left) argues with home plate umpire Chad Fairchild (right) during the first inning against the Orioles on Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. Martin was ejected AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

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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.

Sunday, March 24, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
 

• Catcher Russell Martin knows people will wonder how he could get ejected from a spring training game. “I treat it like it was a regular-season game in my intensity and how I go about it,” Martin said. In the top of the first inning, Martin thought umpire Chad Fairchild was squeezing the strike zone against Pirates pitcher Chris Leroux, who gave up eight runs, five hits and two walks. Martin made what he admitted was an angry remark, and Fairchild gave him the boot.

• Making an emergency start after Jeff Karstens was scratched, Leroux got one out and gave up eight runs. “Probably the worst inning I've ever had,” Leroux said. “Let's all be happy it was in spring training. I've been sharp up to this point.”

• Brandon Inge (sore shoulder) is slated to start at first base Monday against Tampa Bay. It will be Inge's first game since Wednesday.

• Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl attended the game.

• With unseasonably cold weather in the forecast, Pirates starters likely will make quick exits from the scrimmage Saturday in Altoona. “We certainly want to honor the exhibition game for the 10,000 fans who've purchased tickets,” GM Neal Huntington said. “At the same time, we want to make sure we're ready to go April 1. In most exhibition games, starters don't play the whole game, anyway.”

• The Pirates and Chicago Cubs will work out at PNC Park on March 31, the day before the season opener. The workouts are not open to the public.

— Rob Biertempfel

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