The Pirates' roster underwent quite a bit of change leading up to Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, and Hurdle thought the rest of his team needed to get acquainted with reliever Chad Qualls, first baseman Gaby Sanchez and right fielder Travis Snider. All three were acquired in trades this week, Qualls coming from the Yankees, Sanchez from Miami and Snider from Toronto.
"We just wanted to recalibrate and redirect, that's all," Hurdle said. "We just want to remind them that their jobs have not changed. They are players and their job is to play."
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez was among some Pirates players who worried leading up to the deadline that clubhouse chemistry might be affected by any potential trade additions. The Pirates wound up making four trades in the last eight days of July -- they also acquired left-hander Wandy Rodriguez from Houston on July 24.
However, Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan does not believe the clubhouse atmosphere will be compromised by the new faces.
"We all have one goal in common and one job to do, and that's to go out and play the game and win," Hanrahan said. "I think everybody's on the same level."
1B Gaby Sanchez made his Pirates debut Wednesday, batting cleanup a day after being acquired from Miami in a trade. He went 0-for-2 with one walk and one strikeout in an 8-4 win over the Cubs in Chicago. Sanchez figures to play primarily against left-handers, platooning with left-handed hitting 1B Garrett Jones.
RHP Chad Qualls joined the Pirates on Wednesday and warmed up in the sixth inning but did not appear in their 8-4 victory over the Cubs at Chicago. The Pirates acquired Qualls on Tuesday in a trade with the New York Yankees.
RHP Daniel McCutchen was optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis before Wednesday's game to clear a roster spot for RHP Chad Qualls, who was acquired Tuesday from the New York Yankees in a trade. McCutchen had been recalled from Indianapolis on Tuesday to give Pirates coverage in the bullpen until Qualls arrived. McCutchen has had two stints with the Pirates this season but did not pitch during either one after making 73 relief appearances for them last season.
INF/OF Josh Harrison made his fourth start of the season at second base Wednesday as manager Clint Hurdle got his hot bat into the lineup while resting 2B Neil Walker. Harrison went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout. He entered the game with six hits in his previous 14 at-bats.
C Michael McKenry continued to produce big-time results in a part-time role as he went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer. McKenry has hit 10 home runs in 132 at-bats this season, and 19 of his 35 hits have been for extra bases, including 10 of his last 15. In his last 20 games, McKenry is hitting .379 (25-for-66) with six doubles, seven home runs and 21 RBI.
By The Numbers:
.318—3B Pedro Alvarez's batting average in day games this season. He is hitting just .194 at night.
Quote To Note:
—C Rod Barajas, who has yet to be on the receiving end of a no-hitter despite being behind the plate for 1,033 major league games in 14 seasons with seven different teams. Barajas came close Tuesday night when RHP A.J. Burnett lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the eighth inning against the Cubs and settled for a one-hit shutout.