Duke Tabbed for Opener

Zach Duke was picked Thursday to start the Pittsburgh Pirates' season opener April 2 at Houston.

Manager Jim Tracy said his choice came down to Duke or Ian Snell, who is scheduled to pitch the home opener against the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals on April 9.

"It's always special to pitch in Houston, but it's a great honor to know I'm going to pitch in the opener there," Duke said. "I don't get too excited about things, but it's hard not to be excited about this news. I'm glad I found out now because I'm going to need a few weeks to find enough tickets for everyone who will want to be there."

PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Bucs's lefty Zach Duke at spring training.

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