05/26/12 12:24 AM ET
Reunion on tap for Walker, Cubs' Lalli
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
Bucs honoring Army Ranger Parnell all weekend
PITTSBURGH -- On Memorial Day, nowhere -- nor never -- is there a shortage of deserving people to honor. And sometimes a day isn't enough, so the Pirates essentially are making Lt. Sean Parnell a Memorial Weekend honoree.The native of Murrysville is hosting a reunion for a dozen or so former members of his Army Rangers unit -- all of the principals in "Outlaw Platoon," Parnell's gripping and insightful account of their experiences in Afghanistan -- but that party won't fully swing until Saturday. So Parnell's family and a quartet of reunion early arrivals were the team's guests on Friday night -- when Parnell threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the series opener against the Cubs. On Sunday, Parnell and the entire contingent of Army Rangers will again be the Pirates' guests. The best-selling "Outlaw Platoon," released by William Morrow/HarperCollins in February and co-authored with John Bruning, deals with Parnell's 16 months of combat duty in Afghanistan, where his men were credited with 350 kills of insurgents while losing only one of their own.
Jeff Karstens (inflammation in shoulder) will make a rehab start on Saturday in Indianapolis, against Louisville. He'll go either four innings or 60 pitches. Josh Harrison extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fifth-inning single on Friday and is hitting .342 in that stretch. Rod Barajas (2-for-4 on Friday) is 15-for-43 in his last 12 games. Friday night's game began a stretch of 12 consecutive games against National League Central teams for the Bucs, who are now 6-7 against their division foes.
"Maddy asked me to get his autograph. She wants a ball signed by Paul Maholm really, really bad." -- manager Clint Hurdle on 9-year-old daughter Madison, who apparently misses the former Pirates lefty, back in town with the Cubs
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.