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Notebook: Redman family enjoying reunion

NEW YORK – There seems to be some dispute in the Redman family about which brother is the better athlete – Tike or Prentice?

The question was posed to Pirates outfielder Tike Redman a couple of weeks ago.

“You’re looking at him,” Redman said. “He has more power, but that’s about it.”

Prentice Redman, a rookie outfielder with the New York Mets, begged to differ.

“He’s just competitive,” he said. “Is he a four-sport athlete• Ask him that.”

The Redman brothers were reunited Tuesday night when the Pirates opened a three-game series at Shea Stadium. Although Prentice didn’t start, it was the first time the brothers shared the same field on the professional level.

At 26, Tike is two years older than Prentice, a 10th-round draft pick in 1999 who was called up by the Mets for the third time this season when rosters expanded in September.

Prentice Redman has appeared in 10 games, going 3 for 17 with one homer and two RBI. This month, he has made two starts in center field and two starts in right. He collected his first career hit off Atlanta’s Mike Hampton and his first homer off Philadelphia’s Jose Mesa.

“I knew he had it in him to get here,” Tike Redman said. “It was a matter of putting it all together.”

Prentice was added to the Mets’ 40-man roster in the off-season and batted .254 with 29 doubles, two triples, 11 homers, 48 RBI and 24 steals in 128 games at Class AAA Norfolk.

“He’d say he’s the better player, but he does everything to try to be better than me,” Tike Redman said. “That’s good that I drive him like that.”

By the way, Prentice did play one more sport than his older brother in high school at Tuscaloosa (Ala) Academy. He was an all-star wide receiver and safety in football and won two state championships as a power forward in basketball.

Tike did not play basketball.

CHANGE OF PITCHING PLANS

Upon further review, McClendon and pitching coach Spin Williams have decided to start Salomon Torres on Thursday in the series finale. That means Ryan Vogelsong will start Saturday at Wrigley Field in a game that could be pivotal to the Chicago Cubs’ playoff chances.

Vogelsong held the Cubs to one unearned run in seven innings last Saturday night for his second consecutive win since returning to the rotation.

“It’s going to be a fun weekend with the playoff races going down to the wire,” Vogelsong said. “I’m pretty excited to be able to pitch in one of those games. It will be a good test for me.”

McClendon had Torres scheduled to start Saturday, but that assignment would have come on seven days of rest. Now, he will pitch on five days or rest and Vogelsong will work on six days of rest.

“This is the best avenue for us,” McClendon said. “We wanted to try to minimize guys going out and being rusty. The time off was just too long for Torres.”

INJURIES, INJURIES, INJURIES

Catcher J.R. House was called up yesterday because the Pirates’ bench has been beset with injuries. Reggie Sanders won’t play in the series because of a strained left oblique injury that has kept him out of the lineup for seven games. Call-up Bobby Hill is out for the year with a back injury, Matt Stairs has been slowed by a lingering Achilles problem and Carlos Rivera is day-to-day with a hand injury.

Rivera was hurt when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning Saturday night while trying to bunt. He homered later in the game and was used in the field for one inning Sunday. When his spot came up in the eighth inning against Mike Remlinger with the bases loaded, he was replaced by pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez.

“Rivers couldn’t have hit anyhow; he couldn’t even pick up a bat,” McClendon said.

The bench was so thin that had Abraham Nunez gotten a hit in the ninth inning, no position players were left to bat for reliever Mike Gonzalez.

STUCK ON THE BENCH

Sanders is resigned to the fact that he might have played his last game of the season. His left oblique strain hasn’t healed sufficiently for him to get back on the field and only five days remain in the season.

“We’re running out of time,” he said.

Sanders is holding out faint hope that he can play during the three games in Chicago.

“I thought with all the treatment I was getting that I’d have a big chance to come back,” he said. “But it’s at a standstill now. It getting better, but it’s not getting better enough.”


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