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Tuesday's scouting report: Cubs at Pirates

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'American Coyotes' Series

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.

Monday, June 9, 2014, 5:21 p.m.
 

X-factors

• Pirates pinch-hitters have a .269 batting average and .777 OPS; both rank second in the NL behind the Rockies (.279/.784). 1B Gaby Sanchez (.364) and RF Travis Snider (.333) are tied for second in the majors with eight pinch hits, trailing the Marlins' Reed Johnson (nine). As a team, the Pirates lead the big leagues with 29 pinch hits and have hit three HRs off the bench. The Cubs' pinch-hitters are last in the NL with a .129 average and .445 OPS. They do no have a pinch-hit HR.

• The Cubs went into this series having hit at least one triple in four of their previous five games. They have 16 triples this year after hitting just 18 all of last season. The Diamondbacks and Dodgers lead the NL with 17 triples apiece. 2B Emilio Bonifacio has three triples among his 14 extra-base hits. OF Nate Schierholtz has three triples among his 12 extra-base hits.

The Buzz

Tuesday morning, the four-man umpiring crew that will work the Cubs vs. Pirates series will visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. The umps will deliver pre-stuffed Build-A-Bear animals to patients and families on behalf of Umps Care Charities.

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