Ryan Doumit exited Pittsburgh's 3-2 loss Sunday in Chicago after the Cubs' Carlos Pena slid hard into his left ankle. The team diagnosed the ankle as sprained, and it strongly suggested Doumit could be headed to the 15-day disabled list. Doumit will undergo an MRI exam Monday.
If he is out for an extended time, catcher Jason Jaramillo would appear to be the most likely recall from Class AAA Indianapolis, but Jaramillo has been playing through injuries for the latter part of the month, which makes journeyman Dusty Brown another possibility. The Pirates have an open spot on the 40-man roster.
In the second inning Sunday, Doumit planted his left leg near the plate as Pena clearly tried to slide a bit around him on a sacrifice fly. Pena went into the leg, and Doumit immediately cringed before being lifted for Chris Snyder.
Snyder had been getting most of the starts, anyway, and he probably will get more now. But that is not the only effect on the Pirates: Doumit had been batting .269 with four home runs, both figures among the team's best. Moreover, Doumit has a history of injuries -- many of them fluky -- and even a brief setback might be plenty discouraging.
The Pirates shopped Doumit for a trade most of the winter, and Doumit was seen as a strong possibility to be dealt by the July 31 deadline. Any extended absence could quash that.
--3B Steve Pearce worried that the tight right calf that caused him to sit out again Sunday was not progressing. Similar to last year, he is hurt right after getting his bat going, only last year it ended up with a major knee injury. He might have to go the disabled list. "I'm frustrated," Pearce said.
--LHP Joe Beimel was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of recurring pain in his left elbow after giving up a walk and a home run to his only two batters Friday in Chicago.
--RHP Jeff Karstens did not have his best stuff or command Sunday, but he still pitched five innings and allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits. Karstens continues to push for a chance to stay in the rotation, even when injured RHP Ross Ohlendorf returns in mid-June.
--RHP Evan Meek pitched a scoreless inning of relief, his second since coming off the disabled list. More significant, perhaps, he was used in the seventh inning of a one-run game, another indication that he could regain his setup role sooner rather than later.
--SS Ronny Cedeno saw his errorless streak end at 35 games with an errant throw Sunday. That was the longest streak for a Pittsburgh shortstop since Jack Wilson's 42-game run in 2008.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1.59 -- Difference between the Pittsburgh starters' 5.28 ERA last season and the 3.69 mark through Sunday this season. If that were to hold, it would be the fourth-greatest reduction for any staff since the mound was lowered in 1969.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We finally gave him some run support. I don't think he really needed much." -- CF Andrew McCutchen, on the Pirates' 10-0 victory in Chicago on Saturday. that raised LHP Paul Maholm's season total for run support from 14 to 24.
--C Ryan Doumit (sprained left ankle) left the May 29 game. He will undergo an MRI exam May 30.
--3B Steve Pearce (right calf tightness) left the May 28 game, and he didn't play May 29. He might end up on the disabled list.
--LHP Joe Beimel (left elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list May 28.
--3B Pedro Alvarez (sore right quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 20. Alvarez went to Bradenton, Fla., to begin his rehab in late May.
--RHP Mike Crotta (right elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list May 11.
--RHP Ross Ohlendorf (strained right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 9. He threw off flat ground for the first time April 17. Ohlendorf threw from 120 feet April 26, and he threw two bullpen sessions in late April. He pitched his first live batting practice May 3 and threw another May 6. He had a setback, but he resumed throwing over the second weekend of May. He left May 25 for the Pirates' complex in Bradenton, Fla., to begin throwing off a mound.
--RHP Kevin Hart (right shoulder surgery in May 2010) went on the 60-day disabled list March 18. He was throwing in Bradenton, Fla., in mid-April, but the timetable for his return was uncertain.