Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle has benched third baseman Pedro Alvarez for today's game against Milwaukee and Alvarez is likely to sit out a couple more games after that.
Hurdle told reporters in Milwaukee this morning that Alvarez is being shut down for at least a couple days to "clear his deck."
Alvarez who has had an up and down season, is hitting .194 with 8 home runs and 24 RBI on the season. He's 0-16 in his last four games and is batting .130 over his last 23 at-bats.
James McDonald (4-2, 2.20) takes the mound for the 26-26 Pirates who look to move a game above .500. McDonald has a 1.84 ERA in his last eight starts and comes into today's game ranked 3rd in the national league with a 2.20 ERA.