Analysis

Pirates Confident in Alvarez, Batting him Cleanup

Pirates Confident in Alvarez, Batting him Cleanup

Pedro Alvarez will bat cleanup for the Bucs on Saturday night for the first time this season.

PITTSBURGH, Pa.  -- Third baseman Pedro Alvarez has continued to climb his way up in the lineup. After starting the season batting seventh, Alvarez has slowly but surely hit his way up to the cleanup spot -- the place where the organization envisioned for him when he was drafted in the first round (second overall) by Pittsburgh in 2008.

When Manager Clint Hurdle posted the lineup for tonight's 7:05 start against the Cincinnati Reds, Alvarez's name was in the fourth spot for the first time in the 2012 season.

He's earned it, too. Alvarez entered game action with a seven-game hitting streak, where he's gone 12-for-26 (.462) with three homers and nine RBI during that span. Alvarez currently leads all Major League third baseman with a .611 slugging percentage and is tied for third in the National League in home runs (7) behind Matt Kemp (12) and Jay Bruce (8).

"When I first took this j...

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