Quick turnarounds small price to pay for Bucs

Nationally televised games leading to late nights followed by early start times

Quick turnarounds small price to pay for Bucs

CINCINNATI -- The Pirates traipsed into the visiting clubhouse at Great American Ball Park on Monday morning, less than 12 hours after finishing off a 7-1 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis and only a few hours before Monday's 1:10 p.m. ET start against the Reds.

It wasn't the first time this year the Pirates have had to make a quick travel turnaround, but this might qualify as the quickest. Their flight landed in Cincinnati around 1:30 a.m., and they reported to the ballpark before 11 a.m.

No wonder reliever Jared Hughes jokingly trudged around the clubhouse with his arms raised in front of him, doing his best zombie impression.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle calls the occasional red-eye trips and bleary-eyed mornings a "tax" on the Pirates' success, but it's a welcome one for a club that went so long out of the national spotlight before its recent resurgence.

The Pirates made a similar trip two weeks ago, when they played a nationally televised Sunday night game against the Giants at PNC Park before flying straight to Miami.

"It's been a nice, interesting sequence of events with the Sunday night games, an opportunity to play in front of a national audience, represent 'Buc Nation' coast to coast," Hurdle said. "This is what we get to do, not what we've got to do."

Around the horn
• The Pirates reinstated first baseman/outfielder Travis Ishikawa from the 15-day disabled list Monday. Ishikawa, out since Aug. 23 with a low back strain, went 2-for-7 with an RBI in two Minor League rehab games with Triple-A Indianapolis.

"He's fit for duty, ready to go," Hurdle said.

Travis Snider started in left field Monday, his first Major League start since Aug. 4 (with the Orioles) and his first start with the Pirates since last year's National League Wild Card Game against the Giants.

Sean Rodriguez started at shortstop Monday for the first time this year. Rodriguez hasn't played shortstop regularly since 2011-12, when he was with the Rays. But the utility man has played five innings at shortstop for the Pirates this season and regularly puts in pregame work there.

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