Paul finds his way into Pirates’ lineup again
NEW YORK — Xavier Paul got the start in right field for the Pirates on Thursday and batted leadoff. He went 4 for 5 with an RBI, three runs scored and two stolen bases. He was 2 for 2 coming off the bench the night before.
“He had an outstanding game, top of the lineup, couple stolen bases, he made a lot of things happen out there,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It was good to see.”
Josh Harrison also made his third straight start at third base, and Matt Diaz played left field, giving Jose Tabata the day off.
> > Hurdle said he’ll look to get a day off for Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Ronny Cedeno and Lyle Overbay in the coming stretch of games.
> > The Pirates stole three bases yesterday, making it the fifth time this year and second time on the road they have stolen three (April 17 at Cincinnati, April 23 vs. Washington, May 20 vs. Detroit, May 25 vs. Atlanta).
> > The Mets scored their fourth run of the sixth inning on a passed ball to catcher Dusty Brown. “That’s a ball that a catcher can handle,” Hurdle said.
> > If the Phillies activate center fielder Shane Victorino from the 15-day disabled list before today’s game, as expected, they will have their full projected lineup for the first time this season. He would be a welcome addition to a team that entered last night ranked 18th in the majors in runs and batting average (.250). Victorino is batting .284 with six homers, 19 RBI, six doubles and five triples.
“They’ve been a team that’s been very hot or very cold on offense,” Hurdle said. “A lot of teams like that this year. So where they rank is where they show up that day. But at the end of the day, we can talk about offense all we want, but it’s all fueled by the pitcher on the other team. Good pitching beats good hitting.”
Karen Price is a former freelancer.