Jaso gets nod against knuckleballer Dickey

Jaso gets nod against knuckleballer Dickey

PITTSBURGH -- With knuckleballer R.A. Dickey starting for Atlanta, John Jaso replaced Josh Bell at first base in the Pirates' 6-4 victory Saturday night.

It wasn't that Bell, who is 2-for-10, needed a day off, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. Rather, the veteran Jaso, who went 0-for-4 Saturday, has more experience against knuckleball pitchers in general, and Dickey in particular. This is Jaso's ninth season; Bell had played in 48 big league games dating to last season.

"John's seen this guy," Hurdle said. "John's got some at-bats off Dickey, so there's more of a comfort right there, an experienced guy that's seen Dickey pitch before."

Jaso is 3-for-14 with two doubles against Dickey.

Freese rests after being hit by grounder

Hurdle held third baseman David Freese out of the lineup after the veteran took a hard-hit ground ball on his clavicle in Friday's opener.

Freese drilled by hard grounder

"We're still walking through that process with him right now," Hurdle said before the game when asked of Freese's availability. "He came in sore, so he's received some treatment in the training room, and we'll see what he's capable of as the day goes on.

"Just sore, better than I thought," said Freese, who was struck by Dansby Swanson's bad-hop grounder during the eighth inning Friday.

Freese, who homered in the fifth inning, was knocked down and remained on the turf briefly. He stayed in the game, but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning.

"It's all good," Freese said. "I was actually kind of surprised how it was this morning."

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.