4/20/2014 12:48 A.M. ET
Pirates activate Stewart from DL, option Sanchez
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates catcher Chris Stewart, who underwent right knee surgery on March 19, has been recalled from his rehab assignment and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. To make room on the active roster, catcher Tony Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
"It's been a long time coming, so it's good to be back up here with the guys," Stewart said. "Obviously, I didn't get traded over here to rehab down in the Minor Leagues. It's good to be back and try and help this team win some ballgames and make the playoffs."
Stewart went 3-for-4 on Thursday night with Indianapolis and went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a walk in four rehab games with the Indians. Stewart also went 2-for-7 with a walk and a run scored in three rehab games with Class A Advanced Bradenton.
"I don't know what happened, I was unconscious down there," Stewart stated. "I don't know if Dr. Andrews put some hits in my knee when he gave me surgery, but it's just nice to get out there on the field and know that I'm healthy and I can contribute now."
Sanchez hit safely in all six of his games with the Pirates, going 6-for-18 (.333) with a double and four RBIs.
"Sanchez was in here today and we spoke at length," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I thanked him for his service here, his willingness to work and still play. [He has] to continue to work on what he's got to do to meet the demands of the games up here, whether it be game scheming, throwing, blocking. Now he needs to play. There's a bat there that needs to get reps, there's a throwing arm and a defensive skill set that need reps as well. He's looking forward to going down and getting engaged in an environment where he's going to have an opportunity to play."
Ike gets two hits, scores twice in Pirates debut
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates acquired left-handed-hitting first baseman Ike Davis from the New York Mets on Friday night in a trade for Minor League reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named, and Davis went 2-for-3 with two runs scored while batting sixth in an 8-7 loss to the Brewers on Saturday night.
"I hit the ball decent tonight," Davis said. "Always try to get a walk and a knock in a game -- that's the goal. We just fell a little short tonight, but I feel like we came back pretty well there, and [Jason] Grilli is going to shut it down more times than not.
"You always want to get off to a good start, especially in a new environment and new fans and stuff like that and new teammates. It was nice to get a couple hits and get on base a couple times."
Davis had lost the starting first baseman's job in New York to Lucas Duda in recent days.
"I'm excited obviously to play," Davis said. "I haven't been playing, but it's weird leaving the only place I've ever been. That's the weird part, especially leaving the guys that you've been with, some of them, seven years. That was the only tough part. I'm excited, I know a couple of the guys on the team already."
The Pirates are hopeful Davis can regain his form of two years ago, when he hit 32 home runs and had 90 RBIs. Last year, he batted just .205 with nine homers in 103 games before his season ended on Aug. 31 with a right oblique strain. A change of scenery might be good for Davis.
"Obviously, it can't hurt," Davis said. "It was pretty negative over there for a little while, and if I can come here and create some positive energy, then start building forward and start playing better."
"I spent five minutes with him, I didn't want to overload him," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I told him we'll catch up as we go along. I just welcomed him. We believe he's going to add value to our club. I reinforced the fact that he doesn't need to carry our club. We've got a great group of men out there that are ready to embrace him, work with him, challenge him and encourage him."
To make room for Davis on the roster, the Pirates designated first baseman Travis Ishikawa for assignment.
Mercer out of starting lineup with sore right ankle
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer left Friday night's 5-3 loss to Milwaukee after the third inning with discomfort in his right ankle, and he was held out of the starting lineup for Saturday night's contest but flew out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. He was injured in the top of the inning when Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado slid into him while attempting to break up a double play. The Pirates said Mercer would be re-examined Saturday.
"Jordy showed up today feeling a little bit better," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He was going to go through a treatment period and then an activation period and see where that takes him. We're going to play it safe tonight, hopefully he can be able to compete for us later in the game. Clint Barmes will start, but there was some improvement."
"It feels good," Mercer said. "I have good range of motion. If they need me, I can play."
• The Pirates have posted a 6-2 record in their eight one-run games this season. Twelve of the Pirates' first 17 games have been decided by two runs or fewer.
• The Pirates' bullpen ranks fourth in the National League with a 2.47 ERA entering Saturday and is tied for second among all big league teams in wins with five.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.