Pirates notebook: Francisco Cervelli’s finger injury keeps him out of lineup
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli was not in the starting lineup Friday night for the second of a four-game series against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park.
Cervelli also missed Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox when he was hit in the forearm by a pitch Tuesday. But Friday’s absence was due to another injury.
“The finger he dived back into the base with (Thursday night) swelled up on him a little bit,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Cervelli was hitting .296 through Thursday, 21 points above his lifetime batting average.
Elias Diaz has proven to be a capable replacement, hitting .383 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 19 games before he was inserted into the sixth spot Friday night.
Hurdle said Nick Kingham, who won his first two major league starts earlier this season, will start Saturday night against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard. Kingham has pitched in Indianapolis and Altoona since his two starts with the Pirates.
Austin Meadows is replacing Starling Marte in center field, but Corey Dickerson filled his spot in the batting order.
Dickerson made his debut at the No. 3 hole this season. The left fielder has batted fifth in 36 starts and also batted fourth and sixth once each.
“It’s to help the team, with how the lineup is right now and how the guys are right now,” Dickerson said. “I just look to help the team in any way.
“I only hit third one time. That first time through the lineup is what I consider hitting third, so I really don’t pay it any attention.
“I won’t have a different approach. I’ll keep my approach the same, and I think everybody else will try to do the same.”
Dickerson, who was leading the Pirates’ regulars with a .316 batting average, has only 93 career at-bats in the No. 3 spot, with five home runs, 13 RBI and a .247 average.