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Pirates

Pirates major leaguers Clay Holmes, Sean Rodriguez play in Single-A on Monday

| Monday, July 9, 2018, 7:18 p.m.

It wasn’t spring training, but LECOM Park was full of Pirates’ major leaguers Monday.

Because of the all-star breaks for Triple-A and Double-A, the organization assigned two of its MLB players to the High-A Bradenton Marauders in time for Monday’s game. Infielder Sean Rodriguez had his rehabilitation assignment transferred there, and right-hander Clay Holmes was given Monday’s start for the Marauders so that he can be on regular rest to start one of the games of a Pirates-Brewers doubleheader Saturday.

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Rodriguez has been on the disabled list since June 27 because of a quadriceps strain. In the month prior to that, Rodriguez went 1 for 30 – but he reached base in each of his six games for Triple-A Indianapolis (five in the field, Sunday as a designated hitter).

“Sean is making some progress,” said Hurdle, relaying information gleaned over conversations with Indianapolis manager Brian Esposito.

Holmes didn’t make it out of the second inning in his first MLB start last week. The 25-year-old made two prior relief appearances for the Pirates and has a 3.39 ERA in 13 Triple-A games this season.

Musgrove to start Tuesday

As expected, the Pirates intend to activate Joe Musgrove to start Tuesday, the first day he is eligible to come off of the disabled list (index finger infection). It is Musgrove’s second DL stint this season.

Musgrove is 3-3 in seven starts for the Pirates since his offseason acquisition in the Gerrit Cole trade. He has allowed one or fewer runs in three of his starts but has allowed at least four runs in three others.

Bell gets day off

After starting 79 of the first 89 games and playing in each of them, Josh Bell was not in Monday’s lineup.

“One day off,” Hurdle said, swatting back the notion that this is the beginning of a stretch of designed idle time in an effort to help Bell shake his slump.

Bell has a minus-0.3 WAR this season and is hitting .242 with a .690 OPS and one home run since June 1.

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