Bucs place Pearce, Doumit on disabled list
Pirates replace infielder, catcher with Harrison, Brown
NEW YORK -- Though the Pirates won two out of three games from the Cubs at Wrigley Field this past weekend, the series win did not come without a cost.
The Pirates placed infielder Steve Pearce and catcher Ryan Doumit on the 15-day disabled list Monday after Pearce felt soreness in his right calf Saturday and Doumit sprained his ankle Sunday in a home-plate collision with Carlos Pena.
In their place, the Pirates have called up catcher Dusty Brown and infielder Josh Harrison from Triple-A Indianapolis. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Pirates also moved right-handed starter Ross Ohlendorf from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
"I really didn't have a reaction, I just had a smile," Harrison said before his first game as a Major Leaguer. "It didn't really hit me; it's still hitting me now. It was an exciting moment."
Prior to going on the DL, Doumit had split time with Chris Snyder at catcher and was hitting .269 with a .333 on-base percentage, four home runs and 15 RBIs. Manager Clint Hurdle said he expects to use Brown as Snyder's backup, and that he will fill in for Snyder at some point during the Pirates' four-game series against the Mets.
Brown will be making his Bucs debut after playing in 14 games with the Boston Red Sox in 2009 and '10. Though he is known primarily as a defensive catcher, he was batting .263 with an impressive .883 OPS in 30 games at Indianapolis.
"He's a blue-collar kid, works hard, spent a lot of time [in Spring Training] developing relationships with the pitchers," Hurdle said. "His pedigree was more as a catch-throw guy. The last season in Triple-A, he developed some offensive skills that a lot of people had seen before, which made him more attractive to us."
Hurdle said Harrison will most likely see time at third base, where he will play behind Brandon Wood. Pearce and Wood had split time at the hot corner since regular starter Pedro Alvarez went down with a right quadriceps injury May 20.
Harrison comes to the Pirates ranked fifth in the International League in batting average at .321. Hurdle described Harrison a person of strong character from a "great family background."
"He's a great kid with a lot of energy," Hurdle said. "He's the kind of guy who can move the ball around, hits it hard where it's pitched. He can bunt and hit-and-run. He's a ballplayer."
Pirates picking up pace at the plate
NEW YORK -- Runs have been hard to come by for the Pirates this season, but they have done a better job recently.
The Bucs rank 13th in the National League in runs scored, but have averaged 4.4 runs per game during their last 10 contests, up from the 3.59 per game they had averaged up until then.
This past weekend, the Pirates scored 16 runs in their three games against the Cubs, busting out for 10 in Saturday's victory. The Bucs hit four home runs in that game to clinch a crucial series win.
"Every game's important," center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "It's good to be able to go out and win a series there, win a couple of games in a row. They got us ... we played a pretty good game the last game. Overall, we did a pretty good job. Now we just have to carry that over."
McCutchen's play has been integral to the Pirates' offense. Since beginning a series at Houston on May 6, McCutchen has raised his batting average more than 30 points to .257, posting a .393 on-base percentage during that span.
Though McCutchen is happy with the roll he's been on, he's making sure not to get ahead of himself.
"I don't want to jinx myself," McCutchen said. "Last time somebody told me [I was hitting well], I didn't do too well. I'm just seeing my pitches and I'm hitting them now. Before then, I wasn't. That's pretty much been the only big difference."
Hurdle makes visit to Citi Field
NEW YORK -- Monday's game at Citi Field was a homecoming of sorts for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who played in 59 games during three seasons for the Mets during his playing career before serving as a manager in New York's Minor League system for six years.
"There's still a little piece of my heart here," Hurdle said. "My daughter was born in Manhasset, I lived in Glen Cove. There was some depth to it."
This past offseason, Hurdle was being considered for the job of Mets manager before deciding instead to accept his current position with the Pirates. Making his first visit to Citi Field, Hurdle said withdrawing his name from consideration from the Mets' job was difficult for him to do.
"It wasn't easy," Hurdle said. "It was a very good interview process to sit down with [Mets general manager] Sandy [Alderson]. At the end of the day, you go with your gut.
"I just followed my heart, and it was hard."
Aaron Taube is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.