Notebook: Bucs' Kelly plays shortstop for first time
Don Kelly made his first start at shortstop Wednesday, giving Jack Wilson a breather. "Just giving Jack a day off, and it might not even be a full day," manager Jim Tracy said before the game. "He's a high-energy, maximum-effort guy who's played virtually every inning of every game thus far."
Yesterday, catcher Humberto Cota (left shoulder strain) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. In the game against Syracuse, Cota caught five innings and went 0 for 2. Cota has been eligible to come off the disabled list since Tuesday.
Overlooked in Tuesday's 15-inning victory Damaso Marte's top-notch relief work in the eighth inning. Entering the game with no outs and runners on second and third, Marte got Matt Murton on an infield popup. With the bases loaded, he got Jacque Jones to ground into a 3-2 double play. The Pirates scored a run in the ninth to tie it.
First base coach John Shelby rejoined the team yesterday. Shelby attended a family function Tuesday, so Rusty Kuntz filled in on the field Tuesday night.
This weekend, the Pirates won't have to worry about facing the Atlanta Braves' top two pitchers, John Smoltz and Tim Hudson. Instead, the Pirates will see the less-imposing trio of Kyle Davies, Chris James and Anthony Lerew.
3-2 - The Pirates' record in extra-inning games this season.
15.9 - Plate appearances per strikeout by Jack Wilson, the second-best ratio in the National League.
-- Rob Biertempfel