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Pre-Game Buzz: Pirates gearing Alvarez up to begin rehab assignment

Some pregame notes from PNC
— The Pirates (39-37) look to sweep the Boston Red Sox (44-32) this afternoon and hit the 40 win mark and move three games above .500.
The last time the Pirates swept an AL opponent was against the Cleveland Indians in June of 2001. By contrast, the Red Sox haven’t been swept by an NL team since 2002, according to STATS.
— Some news on the injury front:
Management Clint Hurdle said during pre-game media session that third baseman Pedro Alvarez is feeling better and will begin his rehab assignment this week. “He feels better. We’re gearing him up to play at the beginning of this week, ” Hurdle said.
The Pirates are hopeful they will have a healthy Alvarez by the All-Star break and resemble the player he was over his final 75 games last season.
— The Pirates are expected to callup Alex Presley for their upcoming road trips in AL venues but Hurdle wouldn’t fully commit this morning.
“We’re still having that conversation, ” Hurdle said.
— Catcher Eric Fryer will make his first start of the season, after being called up yesterday afternoon.
— Garrett Jones will come out of the lineup. Matt Diaz will start at right field and bat 5th.
— James McDonald (5-4, 4.86 ERA) will take the mound against Andrew Miller (0-0, 4.76 ERA)
Today’s Lineup
1. Jose Tabata, LF
2. Chase d’Arnaud
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Neil Walker, 2B
5. Matt Diaz, RF
6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
7. Ronny Cedeno, SS
8. Eric Fryer, C
9. James McDonald, P

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