06/07/11 8:30 PM ET
Returning Duke will face buddy Maholm
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
Duke returned to Pittsburgh for the first time as a member of another organization. Now a part of Arizona's rotation, he's not going to miss out on a chance to pitch here, either, as Duke is scheduled to oppose longtime friend and former teammate Paul Maholm in Wednesday's game.
"We'll have fun with it," Maholm said. "There's no trash talk. We're both going to expect to win, and go out there and compete -- and at the end of the day, one of us will be happier."
The start will be just the third of the season for Duke, who missed two months after breaking his hand during a Spring Training game. Before his two starts with the D-backs, Duke made the first 158 appearances of his career with Pittsburgh. Ironically enough, he and Maholm will be battling on Wednesday to become the all-time leader in wins at PNC Park. Both currently have 31.
Duke's time in Pittsburgh ended this past offseason, when the Pirates opted not to go as far as an arbitration hearing with the left-hander. The team instead traded Duke to Arizona for pitcher Cesar Valdez. Duke finished his career with the Pirates with a 46-71 record and 4.52 ERA over six seasons.
"I felt like I gave everything I had here, and hopefully it will be a warm reception for me out there," Duke said, when asked how he expects to be welcomed back. "I tried my best to treat everybody well and keep my nose clean off the field. Hopefully, I don't get booed off the field. I feel like I don't deserve that, but you never know. It will be fun anyway."
Left-hander Joe Beimel resumed throwing on flat ground on Tuesday. Beimel, who is recovering from left elbow inflammation, made 30 throws at a distance of 60 feet. He had not previously thrown since being placed on the disabled list on May 28. "Everything felt good," he said afterward.
Pirates first-base coach Luis Silverio returned to Florida to attend the high school graduation of his son, Louis. Coach Mark Strittmatter served as Pittsburgh's first-base coach on Tuesday.
Three members of the Pirates' low Class A West Virginia affiliate have been named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team, including first-round pick Jameson Taillon. Taillon, who is 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in eight starts, will be joined by right-hander Brandon Cumpton and outfielder Dan Grovatt. The game will be played on June 21.
Andrew McCutchen batted cleanup on Tuesday for the first time in his career. That spot in the lineup has belonged to Neil Walker, but manager Clint Hurdle gave Walker the day off. Ahead of McCutchen were Jose Tabata, Josh Harrison and Xavier Paul, which gave the Pirates quite the speedy quartet atop the batting order.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.