PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' hopes of getting third baseman Pedro Alvarez back soon took a hit on Tuesday, when Alvarez was forced to exit an extended spring training game because of reoccurring tightness in his right quadriceps.
Alvarez has been dealing with right quad tightness for more than a month now, though he had been participating in extended spring games for about a week and had appeared to be getting closer to heading out on an official rehab assignment.
That's now a moot point, as manager Clint Hurdle suggested that Alvarez will spend the next week simply undergoing treatment on the nagging injury. General manager Neal Huntington did not speculate on how long Alvarez might be down, saying only that the third baseman's symptoms will determine when he can return to the field.
"He was able to tell everybody that it was not responding as he had hoped," Hurdle said. "In his case, he needs to be honest with us. Any athlete does once they're injured. They've got to be honest through the rehabilitation process so we can treat it properly."
The injury initially surfaced during a May 3 game against San Diego. Alvarez exited that contest in the sixth inning and missed the next four games. He made a brief return before landing on the disabled list on May 21, when it was obvious that he could not play through the ailment.
It is certainly not unrealistic now to think that Alvarez might not be back until next month, at the earliest. Following a layoff for treatment, Alvarez will have to slowly resume his rehab work, which will culminate in him needing to play some games with one of the organization's Minor League affiliates.
In Alvarez's absence, Brandon Wood and Josh Harrison will continue to split time at third. So far this season, the Pirates have not gotten much production from their third basemen, who have combined to hit just .212 with four homers and 29 RBIs in the team's first 59 games.
Snyder exits game with lower back pain
PITTSBURGH -- Catcher Chris Snyder left after the second inning of the Pirates-Diamondbacks game on Wednesday evening due to lower back pain, and was to undergo further tests on Wednesday night.
Snyder missed time during Spring Training because of back pain and opened the season on the disabled list.
Snyder hit a single in the bottom of the second and was thrown out at second base by D-backs left fielder Xavier Nady while attempting to stretch the hit into a double. He seemed to get up gingerly after sliding into second.
Backup catcher Dusty Brown replaced Snyder.
The Pirates are already without their catcher, Ryan Doumit, who fractured his left ankle when the Cubs' Carlos Pena slid into him on May 29. Doumit is on the 15-day DL and is not expected to return until July at the earliest.
If Snyder will have to miss time, the Pirates will most likely need to call up another catcher. Candidates would be Wyatt Toregas or Eric Fryer, both of whom are at Triple-A Indianapolis. Jason Jaramillo would not be available for consideration because he is on the disabled list at Indianapolis with a sore elbow.
Watson contributes in Major League debut
PITTSBURGH -- Reliever Tony Watson made his Major League debut for the Pirates on Wednesday night and struck out both batters that he faced.
Watson replaced Jose Veras with two on and one out in the eighth inning of the Pirates' 3-2 win over the D-backs. He struck out Chris Young and Juan Miranda to end the inning and keep the game tied at 1.
"I just rolled the dice and said, 'You know what, we'll get the kid out there,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Baptism by fire. Two nice sequences, he had to be jittery. And to stay with it, to stay through it and get the two strikeouts, I don't know if it could have ended up with him having a better first night out."
Watson said his familiarity with catcher Dusty Brown, whom he had worked with in the Minors, helped to ease his nerves as he notched the two strikeouts.
"We have a little chemistry and trust there," Watson said. "I was throwing what he threw down. I believed in him and he believed in me, and we got the job done."
Watson was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, just days after Hurdle had commented on the need for an extra left-handed arm in the bullpen. Watson's father and sister drove to Pittsburgh from Iowa on Tuesday, and they and Watson's girlfriend were in attendance on Wednesday to see his debut.
In 22 relief appearances for Indianapolis this season, Watson had a 2.45 ERA and held hitters to a .179 batting average.
Bucs, Dodgers to play makeup game Sept. 1
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates and Dodgers will make up a May 12 rainout at 4:05 p.m. ET at PNC Park on September 1. The makeup date was announced on Wednesday and will now force the Pirates to play 21 games in a span of 20 games.
During that stretch, the Pirates have already scheduled a doubleheader to make up a game against the Brewers that was postponed in April.
The makeup date also means that the Pirates must make a stop back in Pittsburgh during a three-city, 10-game road trip. The trip begins with four games in St. Louis and three in Houston to wrap up the month of August. The Pirates will travel home to play the rescheduled affair and then head immediately to Chicago for a three-game set against the Cubs.
The timing of the makeup could work out well for the Pirates, though, in that they can take advantage of September call-ups to fortify their pitching staff if it becomes thin during the grueling stretch of games.
Fans who hold tickets from the May 12 rainout may use those tickets on September 1 or exchange them for tickets to a remaining home game this season, excluding the following dates: June 11, June 24-26, July 9, August 6 and September 24.
The Pirates and ROOT Sports are teaming up to host an auction to raise money for three area Miracle League Fields. The auction, which will be held during the telecast of Friday's game, will have eight feature experiences up for bid, including an instructional clinic with manager Clint Hurdle and a trip to Spring Training in 2012. The auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET and conclude after the seventh inning. VIP bags, which contain tickets, merchandise and autographed items, will also be available for purchase at a cost of $100. More details can be found on www.pirates.com/rootsportsauction.
Lefty Joe Beimel (left elbow inflammation) threw on flat ground on Wednesday. It was the second straight day in which Beimel was out throwing before the team took batting practice.
Triple-A left-hander Justin Wilson allowed four earned runs on six hits in five innings on Tuesday. Though it wasn't his strongest outing of the season, Wilson (7-3) was awarded with a win. Outfielder John Bowker had three doubles and drove home four in the game.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Laura Myers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.