PITTSBURGH — Tied for first place in the National League Central after last night’s whitewash of the White Sox, the Pirates (24-17) will shoot for their 10th win in 12 interleague games this afternoon at PNC Park.

Jameson Taillon appears set to go for today’s scheduled start, but the Pirates will be vigilant about that cut on Taillon’s middle finger throughout the afternoon. Clint Hurdle said Steven Brault would be ready to go if there are any complications, much like Brault took over for Taillon last Friday when the pesky injury first occurred.

Alan Saunders will have more on the Pirates’ lengthening list of injuries from Todd Tomczyk, but the team’s sports medicine chief said Starling Marte and Francisco Cervelli have both received treatment for their injuries sustained last night.

As you’ll see in today’s starting lineup, Sean Rodríguez will be the man in center field should Marte need some time to recover from the discomfort in his right side and lower back. That means Gregory Polanco, who played center field coming up through the Pirates’ system, will stay put in right field no matter what.

“I have no desire to move Polanco,” Hurdle said. “Zero.”

For what it’s worth, Marte said he feels “OK” after tweaking something during his first at-bat Tuesday night. Cervelli said something similar, but with less than 24 hours to recover from that right forearm discomfort, Elias Díaz will be in.

“Always have to be ready,” Díaz told me.

In a rather labored segue, the Pirates are hoping Jung Ho Kang will be ready to play Major League Baseball at some point this summer. Here’s Saunders on why fans would be better served not thinking about that contingency at this point …

Saunders: Gung-ho for Jung Ho? Pump the Brakes


We’re looking at a right-heavy lineup against Sox lefty Héctor Santiago …


It’s a morning game in the Central Time Zone. Rick Renteria’s boys will try to avoid a 13th loss in 15 games with the following lineup …



It’s going to be a cloudy day, but the raindrops should hold off until later this afternoon and into the evening. Weather.com has the temperature holding steady in the mid-to-high 70s with very little breeze. Call it warm, but stagnant.

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