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PIRATES NOTEBOOK From PNC Park



Published: Wed, May 2, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Local connection: Umpire Wally Bell of Boardman worked second base of Tuesday's game.

Leading off: With center-fielder Adrian Brown out with tendinitis in his right shoulder, manager Lloyd McClendon has used catcher Jason Kendall in the leadoff position in 14 of the Bucs' last 15 games. As leadoff hitter, Kendall has batted .298, scored eight runs, walked six times and driven in three runners.

Mixed reviews: Giants left fielder Barry Bonds received both cheers and boos when he stepped into the batter's box in the first inning. Bonds, a future Hall of Famer who recently hit his 500th-career homer, began his career with seven seasons with the Pirates. His first 176 homers were hit in a Pirates' uniform. Bonds signed with the Giants after the 1992 season, the Bucs last postseason appearance. He needs six homers to tie Mel Ott for 15th-place on baseball's all-time list (511). Eight more homers and he'll pass Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews.

Healing: Three Pirates starting pitchers remain on the 15-day disabled list. Kris Benson has a right elbow sprain, Francisco Cordova is rehabbing his right elbow after surgery and Jason Schmidt has a left abdominal strain. Monday, Schmidt made his third rehab start with Class AA Altoona and worked in to the fifth-inning. Cordova made his first rehab start last Saturday for Altoona. Benson is expected to make a rehab start by the end of the week in Bradenton, Fla.

On deck: The Pirates' series with the Giants continues with games tonight and Thursday at 7. Bucs right-hander Todd Ritchie (0-3, 4.60 earned-run average) will try for his first win tonight. In his five starts, the Pirates have supported Ritchie with just four runs. Thursday's game will be a duel of left-handers, with the Bucs sending Jimmy Anderson (2-1, 2.76) out to face Shawn Estes (2-1, 4.18).

-- Tom Williams




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