In for ill Harrison, Rodriguez goes deep

Pirates visit Vogelsong, who remains hospitalized

In for ill Harrison, Rodriguez goes deep

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates scratched Josh Harrison from Wednesday's starting lineup due to an illness, but his replacement, exemplifying the Pirates' next-man-up philosophy, helped power the Bucs to a 5-4 win over the D-backs.

Harrison initially was in the starting lineup at PNC Park, batting sixth and playing second base. He was replaced by Sean Rodriguez, who led off the fourth inning with a homer and played a solid second base throughout the night.

Rodriguez's homer to left -- his fifth of the season -- put the Pirates on the board against D-backs righty Rubby De La Rosa, and the do-it-all defender turned a slick double play with shortstop Jordy Mercer in the third.

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"You can send him out there and he looks comfortable wherever he goes. Moving around the field, good swings," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's been fun to watch him. He's a good player, and he's in a very good place right now mentally and physically."

Harrison had started the past 11 games and 16 of the Pirates' last 17. He was hitting .314/.347/.415 with two home runs, 23 RBIs and seven steals in 43 games entering Wednesday.

Moved to the middle of the lineup this season, Harrison has hit .346 with runners in scoring position.

Vogelsong's status unchanged
Several Pirates players visited right-hander Ryan Vogelsong in the hospital Wednesday, checking in on him as he begins to recover from the multiple facial fractures he sustained when he was struck in the face by a pitch while batting Monday.

Head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said there was no change regarding Vogelsong's status. He remains hospitalized, in good spirits and is waiting for the swelling around his injured left eye to subside.

Diaz progressing
Catching prospect Elias Diaz, working his way back from right elbow surgery, is entering the "final stages of preparing the arm, and the elbow specifically, to begin throwing and hitting" as he recovers at the Pirate City training complex in Bradenton, Fla.

Diaz has been sidelined since Spring Training. After stopping and starting his throwing program several times, the catcher had surgery earlier this month and began his rehabilitation. Diaz's range of motion and strength have nearly returned to normal, Tomczyk said.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.