• Hurdle admitted he felt bad for shortstop John McDonald on Wednesday night. McDonald hit two balls hard for outs, one a diving catch at second by Chase Utley and a second diving catch in left field by Domonic Brown.
"Those were fantastic Major League plays," Hurdle said. "The second baseman goes horizontal on one, and then the left fielder goes horizontal. Those things don't happen in the Minor Leagues, they happen up here due to the skill set. It was good the at-bats were clean. He's been around long enough to feel good about those at-bats. If [Brown] isn't 6-foot-5 or whatever he is, it's a different story."
• The Pirates begin a three-game set at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Friday night. One player looking forward to the trip will be Pedro Alvarez, who has had a great run at Busch over his past 10 games. He hit .375 (15-for-40) in that stretch with three doubles, four home runs and 14 RBIs. His last at-bat ended with a 19th-inning home run, the only home run in team history that came in the 19th inning.
Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.