McCutchen scratched with 'lower body soreness'

McCutchen scratched with 'lower body soreness'

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates scratched center fielder Andrew McCutchen from Friday's starting lineup about an hour before first pitch due to "lower body soreness."

McCutchen took batting practice with the team Friday morning and appeared to be fine, so the injury doesn't seem to be serious. He was originally slated to bat third and play center field against the Twins at McKechnie Field.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said after the game he had no update regarding McCutchen. He was informed of the injury after batting practice.

"We'll go from there, take it one day at a time," Hurdle said.

The revised Pirates lineup slotted Jaff Decker in center field, batting sixth. Shortstop Jung Ho Kang moved from the sixth spot in the order to the three hole. The rest of the lineup remained the same.

McCutchen played six innings in center field and went 1-for-1 with a walk and a sacrifice fly during Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Red Sox. He has played in five games so far this spring.

Around the horn
• After playing eight straight games without an error to begin their Grapefruit League schedule, the Pirates have committed five in their last three games. Three of those errors came in Friday's 8-3 loss to the Twins. Hurdle said he didn't view the recent misplays as a trend.

"Game of baseball," Hurdle said. "Sometimes it's harder to play than others."

• Decker played five innings in center field and went 1-for-2 with a double. He's hitting .417 (5-for-12) with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs in six games this spring as he competes for the final spot on the Pirates' bench.

"The one bench spot is open. We've got a handful of guys that are trying to find their way. Some of that's in their control. Some of that's out of their control depending on how the club shapes up," Hurdle said. "He showed up in a good place. He's competing well. He worked hard all winter to make some adjustments with his swing. They're evident and visible now. He's been a good defender, been a solid baserunner. He's fighting and working to give himself a shot."

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.