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Bucs’ Sanchez bats leadoff today; Giants will start Zito tomorrow |

Bucs’ Sanchez bats leadoff today; Giants will start Zito tomorrow

| Tuesday, May 6, 2008 12:00 a.m

Pirates manager John Russell juggled the top of his batting order for tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants.

Freddy Sanchez will bat leadoff of the first time this season and Nate McLouth is in the No. 2 spot.

“Just a little bit of a change,” Russell said.

Russell hopes the switch will force Sanchez to be more selective at the plate. Sanchez is batting .222, although he has hit safely in four of his past six games.

“This may get him going a little bit,” Russell said.

The switch also may create more RBI opportunities for McLouth, who is second on the team with 25 RBI.

Also, the Giants have changed their starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game. Barry Zito, who was removed from the rotation one week ago, will start against the Pirates.

Zito started this season 0-6 with a 7.53 ERA and was demoted to the bullpen first the first time in his nine-year career. In 2006, Before last season, Zito signed a seven-year $126 million contract with the Giants.

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