Second baseman Jose Castillo was not in the starting lineup for the Pirates against the New York Mets on Tuesday. Castillo was replaced by Freddy Sanchez, who batted fifth. Though Castillo had hit safely in seven consecutive games, he is seemingly falling into the habit of trying to pull the ball -- something he tried to do at the end of April, when he struggled at the plate.
Joe Randa started at third in place of Castillo. Randa was batting .300 with a home run and 3 RBI in limited action since being reinstated from the disabled list on June 13. He was 3 for 5 with an RBI yesterday.
Jose Hernandez missed his second consecutive game due to a sore lower back. The infielder/outfielder is expected to be available for today's game.
Sanchez appeared on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" prior to yesterday's game. The appearance was originally scheduled to promote Sanchez for the All-Star Game as the possible "final man" on the National League roster. Sanchez, however, was selected to the All-Star squad by NL manager Phil Garner -- so Sanchez instead used the national television forum to talk up Pittsburgh and what it means for him to be playing in an All-Star Game hosted by his home park.
With his double in the fourth inning, starting pitcher Zach Duke has now hit safely in six of his past seven games. He is batting .257 this season.
Manager Jim Tracy will ring the opening bell today for the commodities market at the New York Stock Exchange.
Jason Bay's 62 RBI are the most by a Pirates player before the All-Star break since Aramis Ramirez's 62 in 2003.
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