Plagued by injuries, Bucs lose to Cubs
CHICAGO -- The Pirates lost two players Sunday in addition to losing to the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, in a rain-delayed game at Wrigley Field.
Catcher Ryan Doumit suffered a sprained left ankle in a collision at home plate and is all but certain to go on the 15-day disabled list. Infielder Steve Pearce, who strained his right calf Saturday, was unable to play and will go on the 15-day DL.
There was no immediate indication who the Pirates will call up to replace Pearce. Catcher Dusty Brown likely will be promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis to replace Doumit.
X-rays on Doumit's ankle showed no fracture. He was wearing a protective boot and using crutches after the game. Pearce and Doumit flew back to Pittsburgh last night and are scheduled to have MRI exams.
"It's frustrating," said Pearce, who went 4 for 10 with a homer and five RBI in his past three games. "I've been battling this since spring training, and it's never gone away."
Doumit left the game in the second inning after the collision with Cubs baserunner Carlos Pena.
Pena singled to right field after Aramis Ramirez homered to pull the Cubs to within 2-1. With one out, Tony Campana singled, and Pena went to third when shortstop Ronny Cedeno's errant throw bounced away from first baseman Lyle Overbay.
Koyie Hill flew out to mid-depth right field. Garrett Jones made an accurate throw, and Doumit blocked the plate, but Pena slid hard into Doumit's ankles and arrived an instant before the ball.
Doumit stayed on the ground, clutching his left ankle.
"It was one of those freak things," said Doumit, who was replaced by Chris Snyder. "He came in hard, but I don't think I did anything different from how I usually do things. It all happened so fast."
The Pirates almost are forced to place Doumit on the DL even if the injury is not severe because the team cannot afford to be without a backup catcher, even for a couple of days.
A few minutes after Doumit hobbled off the field, Brown was scratched from Indianapolis' lineup, then headed for New York to join the Pirates. In 30 games for Indy, Brown hit .263 with six homers and 19 RBI.
Brown is not on the 40-man roster, but the Pirates already have one open spot.
Catcher Jason Jaramillo, who is on the 40-man roster, normally would be the first choice for a call-up. But Jaramillo has a sore right elbow and has not caught in a game since May 21. He played Thursday as the designated hitter.
Pearce and Brandon Wood have been sharing time at third base while Pedro Alvarez is on the DL. With Pearce out, Andy Marte or Josh Harrison could get a call-up. The Pirates likely would transfer pitcher Ross Ohlendorf from the 15-day to the 60-day DL to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Marte or Harrison.
Marte, 27, has extensive experience in the majors. But he has been used mostly as Indy's DH and is batting .191 with five homers and 17 RBI.
Harrison, 23, who has never played above Triple-A, is batting .331 with two homers, 11 RBI and an .841 OPS. He's also made nine errors in 36 games at third base. Harrison, who was acquired from the Cubs in the John Grabow trade in 2009, is not on the 40-man roster.
Despite a .333 batting average at Indy, outfielder Alex Presley is not an option to replace Pearce. Calling up Presley would leave Pedro Ciriaco as the only infielder on the bench, and managers generally want at least two backup infielders.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against righty Ryan Dempster (4-4). Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker walked with two outs, and Overbay lined a two-run double to right.
The Cubs tied the game in the second inning, then took the lead in the third. Kosuke Fukudome doubled, was bunted to third and scored the go-ahead run on Starlin Castro's sacrifice fly to deep right field.
How they scored
-- Pirates first inning (Ryan Dempster pitching)
With two outs, Andrew McCutchen walked. Neil Walker walked, McCutchen to second. Lyle Overbay doubled to right field, McCutchen and Walker scored. Pirates 2, Cubs 0
-- Cubs second (Jeff Karstens pitching)
Aramis Ramirez hit a solo home run (No. 2) to left on the first pitch. Carlos Pena singled to right. With one out, Tony Campana singled to shortstop, Pena to second, Pena to third on throwing error by shortstop Ronny Cedeno. Koyie Hill hit a sacrifice fly to right, Pena scored. Pirates 2, Cubs 2
-- Cubs third
Kosuke Fukudome doubled to right. Darwin Barney sacrificed to pitcher, Fukudome to third. Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly to right, Fukudome scored. Cubs 3, Pirates 2
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Pirates recall Decker, send Cumpton back to Indy
- Statistically speaking: Mesoraco, Martin travel different paths to success
- Report links Pirates first baseman Sanchez to PEDs while in college
- Friday’s scouting report: Pirates at Reds
- Volquez goes distance as Pirates roll to victory over Cardinals
- Pirates notebook: Marte placed on bereavement leave
- Pirates notebook: Grilli out, Melancon in as Pirates closer
- Pirates notebook: Frieri optimistic about fresh start
- Biertempfel: It’s elementary: Watson deserves to be on All-Star team
- Minor league notebook: Disciplined Hanson back on field
- Sunday’s scouting report: Phillies at Pirates