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Hurdle: Pirates not looking to add D.H. spot

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Friday, June 17, 2011

HOUSTON — On the eve of their first road interleague series this season, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said the team will not bring up a player from the minors to serve as their designated hitter.

"We're holding pat," Hurdle said after today's 5-4 win against Houston.

Management strongly considered calling up outfielder Alex Presley, who's hitting .336 with eight homers at Triple-A Indianapolis, to bolster the lineup this weekend against the Cleveland Indians. However, Hurdle has been encouraged by recent progress made by lefty hitters Garrett Jones and Xavier Paul.

"They've both picked it up," Hurdle said.

After the three-game set in Cleveland, the Pirates play host to Baltimore and Boston at PNC Park. Those games will be played under National League rules, meaning no DH. The Pirates will play three more interleague games in Toronto, then resume NL play.

If Presley had been called up, shortstop Pedro Ciriaco would have been sent down to Indy. That would have left the Pirates short one infielder on their bench for the games at PNC Park.

"Roster-wise, it's complicated," Hurdle said. "Just to cover three games (in Cleveland), I'm really not comfortable going with another outfielder."

» Catcher Mike McKenry got the ball Wednesday after getting his first career hit, a soft single over the head of shortstop Clint Barmes. McKenry also kept balls from the first pitches he caught in the majors last year and in his first game with the Pirates.

"I'll give one of them to my dad for Father's Day," McKenry said.

» Indy had its game last night at Rochester postponed due to travel problems. The team got stuck at the airport in Chicago due to flight delays and airplane maintenance.

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