Wilson Back In The Lineup

Shortstop Jack Wilson was activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday and shortstop Brian Bixler was optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis.

Wilson was in the Pirates' lineup and batting eighth as they were set to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series. He had been on the DL since April 25 with a sprained left middle finger.

"It was good at Indy," Wilson said. "It was good to get back out there playing and seeing some pitches and get some rhythm with some ground balls. I enjoyed being down there with the kids and working with them.

"I needed game speed. Having runners going down the lines and hitting and fielding in game situations - just playing the game. You don't necessarily need to do that after just two weeks out, but I felt like if I was ready to go that I was going to go out and play somewhere."

Bucs manager John Russell inserted Wilson back into the lineup immediately.

"It's good to get your starting shortstop," Russell opined. "There for awhile we were without our catcher, shortstop and center fielder. That's not a good recipe for success. We want to be strong up the middle and we got our shortstop back and Nate McLouth is back in center and he is starting to swing the bat like he is capable of. It's important to get Wilson back - he's sort of the solidifying force on defense."

Bixler hit .200 with two RBIs in eight games and struck out 18 times of 26 plate appearances.

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