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Pirates recall Pearce to fill first base slot after LaRoche trade

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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.

By Pat Mitsch
Thursday, July 23, 2009
 

The Pirates' Steve Pearce could start receiving some regular playing time. The Pirates traded first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday and recalled Pearce, a first baseman who also can play right field.

Pearce initially was recalled in late June, producing a double in 14 plate appearances across nine games before being sent back down.

Though Garrett Jones started at first base yesterday, Pirates manager John Russell said Pearce, who joins the team in Arizona today, would get a better opportunity to prove his worth.

"Steve Pearce has been doing very well in Triple-A," Russell said. "We'd like to give him a look. ... When we called him up the first time, he didn't have an opportunity to play much. I think it's time we get Steve some at-bats and see how he goes with it ..."

• Ramon Vazquez got a second consecutive start at shortstop yesterday, filling in for Jack Wilson, who sat out another game with a tight hamstring. Russell said Wilson hopefully would be able to return to the lineup today — or at least sometime while in Arizona. "He's better today," Russell said. "Still a little tight, but he should be fine in the next few days — hopefully, tomorrow. He said he felt a lot better today."

• The Pirates won four of six games during this homestand. Today marks the start of seven consecutive games away from PNC Park — against Arizona and San Francisco. The Pirates have gone 2-11 in their past 13 road games.

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