MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - INSIDE PITCH


PITTSBURGH -- Injured players being termed as "day-to-day" became a cliche long ago, but it is truly the case with Andrew McCutchen.

The Pirates center fielder returned to the lineup Wednesday afternoon in a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh. A night earlier, the 2013 National League MVP left the game with discomfort in his left ribs after the fifth inning.

McCutchen looked fine Wednesday as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.

McCutchen was on the disabled list from Aug. 4-18 with a stress fracture in his lower left ribcage. The bone won't completely heal without rest, but McCutchen said he hopes to start each of the 29 remaining games as the Pirates are in the National League Central and wild-card races.

On Tuesday night, McCutchen's ribs began to hurt when he slammed into the center-field fence to catch a long drive by Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter. Asked if he would avoid plays like that in the future, McCutchen was emphatic in saying he would not.

"I'm not going to be passive. I'm going to keep playing like I play," McCutchen said. "If my body says, 'No' my body says, 'No.' But it's nothing big. This takes time to heal, and there are going to be days like this. We just want those kinds of days to be miniscule."

McCutchen is hitting .307 with 20 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 117 games.

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MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 69-64

STREAK: Won two

NEXT: Reds (RHP Mike Leake, 10-11, 3.51 ERA) at Pirates (RHP Edinson Volquez, 11-7, 3.56 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--CF Andrew McCutchen returned to the lineup for Wednesday's 3-1 win over St. Louis. He left Tuesday night's game after five innings because of discomfort in his left ribs. McCutchen, last season's National League MVP, was on the disabled list from Aug. 4-18 with a fracture in his lower left rib cage that doctors say will not heal until after the season.

--1B Pedro Alvarez was unavailable to play because of a sprained left foot. He suffered the injury in Tuesday night's game and is out indefinitely. Alvarez hit three home runs in his last four games.

--RF Travis Snider left the game with discomfort in his left hamstring for a pinch runner in the third inning after beating out a bunt single. The Pirates said he would be evaluated Thursday.

--LHP Jeff Locke finished August with a 4-0 record and 2.90 ERA in five starts after holding the Cardinals to one run in 7 1/3 innings. He improved his overall record to 6-3 by allowing six hits in 7 1/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

--RHP Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.56 ERA) will start Friday night against Cincinnati in the opener of a three-game home series. Volquez is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last four starts but 1-2 with a 5.86 ERA against the Reds in five career starts.