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Pirates Pirates Report: 4/25/02

Thursday, April 25, 2002

By Robert Dvorchak, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

TODAY'S GAME

Dodgers vs. Pirates, 12:35 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Fox Sports Net. Radio: KDKA-AM (1020). RHP Josh Fogg (2-0) starts for the Pirates, RHP Hideo Nomo (2-0) for the Dodgers.

NOTEBOOK

Even with two voids in the infield, there was no thought given to activating Pat Meares, who is on the disabled list with an injured left hand and is awaiting a meeting with his agent and the Pirates officials regarding his future. Meares has received conflicting medical opinions regarding additional surgery. "We just don't think he's healthy enough to be a competitive major-league player," GM Dave Littlefield said. A meeting is expected to be set up later this week with Meares and his agent, Steve Comte, but Littlefield said any decision on additional surgery that would enable him to close his left hand around a bat rests solely with Meares. "We're not looking to force Pat Meares to have surgery if he doesn't want surgery," Littlefield said.

Left-hander Adrian Burnside, Neal McDade and Chris Spurling combined for the first no-hitter in Altoona Curve history Tuesday night in a 2-0 win against Akron. Burnside, a native Australian acquired from the Dodgers last year with Mike Fetters in the Terry Mulholland trade, left the game after five innings because of a high pitch count. He walked six batters and struck out three before giving way to McDade, who worked three hitless frames. Spurling then retired the side in order in the ninth for the first no-hitter in the Eastern League this season. Burnside (1-1) earned his first win as a member of the Pirates' organization. A run-scoring double by John Pachot in the second and a run-scoring single by Carlos Rivera in the third accounted for the Curve's runs.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said the "thought crossed my mind" about pulling Jimmy Anderson in the fifth inning of the game Tuesday when the Dodgers scored five times to rally from a 6-3 deficit. The question was being asked because the Pirates have the best bullpen in baseball. But McClendon refused to second-guess himself. After watching tapes of the game, McClendon said Anderson didn't throw badly. "I had full confidence he was going to throw a sinkerball and get us out of that inning. It didn't happen," McClendon said. "Nobody's more disappointed in his performance than Jimmy. He's tough. I guarantee you he'll come back in his next start and have a dandy for us. You have a responsibility to the starters. If you say you believe in them and they can get you to a certain point, then you ought to give them a chance to get there. Quite frankly, I thought Jimmy would get us there. It didn't happen."

Brian Giles said he was answering a question with a question when Dan Patrick of ESPN Radio asked him whether the increase in ticket prices has adversely affected attendance at PNC Park, which has seen small crowds despite the team's fast start. "I don't know, what do you think?" Giles said. "I have no idea how you lose 100 games and raise ticket prices. ... It's tough when you lose 100 and it costs more to get in."

Nashville OF Tike Redman has a fractured hamate bone in his right hand and is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

NASHVILLE (9-11) won, 3-2, at home against Oklahoma. Shawn Camp (1-0) won in relief of starter Brian Meadows, who threw a two-hit shutout in 5 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks. Brian Smith earned his third save. SS Tomas De La Rosa was 2 for 4 with an RBI. SS Mandy Romero had a double in two at-bats.

ALTOONA (10-8) won, 2-0, at home against Akron (See above.)

LYNCHBURG (10-7) lost, 6-2, at Myrtle Beach. Starter Jeff Sharber (1-1) lost, allowing two earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. CF Chris Duffy had three hits, and SS Jose Castillo had two hits.

HICKORY (14-5) lost, 9-8, at Macon. Starter Ian Oaquendo (2-1) took the loss, allowing seven runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts and four walks in 3 2/3 innings. C Jose Hernandez was 3 for 4 with a double and three RBI. 3B Jose Bautista had two hits, including a double, and an RBI.

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