LOS ANGELES -- This must have been Clint Hurdle's cold-weather West Coast lineup, with nighttime temperatures in Chavez Ravine expected to dip to a very un-Southern Californian 51. But more likely, it was the Pirates manager's cold-hitting alternative lineup. Trying to get their teams out of an offensive slump, some managers might tinker with their lineups, but Hurdle went all the way to blowing his up for Thursday night's game against the Dodgers.
Josh Harrison (at second), Yamaico Navarro (in left) and Michael McKenry (catching) all got in there against Los Angeles lefty Chris Capuano. McKenry has started once, but it will be the first start for the other two. Among them, the trio brings a total of six at-bats into the game. "We need to get them involved," Hurdle said of Harrison and Navarro. "They've been giving us good at-bats, just like [rookie Matt] Hague -- without the fanfare." Hague remained on the bench, with Casey McGehee playing first as third baseman Pedro Alvarez got his first start against a southpaw. "Pedro had a couple of pretty good at-bats [Wednesday] night. With [right-hander Matt] Cain [on Friday, starting for the Giants], it's a chance to bundle some at-bats for Pedro, to see if he can move forward," Hurdle said. The shakeup is understandable, considering the Bucs entered the game having scored an MLB-low nine runs in their first five games. The mutual starts of Harrison and Navarro were also intriguing because of the perception that they could have been playing for a roster spot once Charlie Morton is activated, as expected, in time to start Saturday's game in San Francisco. However, Hurdle strongly implied the club had already decided on the move to make room for Morton. "Upon Charlie's return, we're not going to carry the extra position player," the manager said. "We have some idea of what we need to do. We're not trying them [Harrison and Navarro] out anymore. This was just an opportunity to get them on the field and two, three at-bats."