LEADING OFF: Pitching coach Jeff Johnson might return to the Curve as early as today. He's been away from the club for more than a week handling a family matter. Pirates roving minor league coach Miguel Bonilla has been filling in for Johnson.
SAFE AT FIRST: OF Christian Marrero has been sent to the Curve from Triple-A Indianapolis. Marrero came to the Pirates organization July 28 in a trade that sent former Curve INF Brian Friday to the Braves. Marrero hit .200 (2-for-10) in five games for Indy after batting .247 with four homers and 29 RBIs in 68 games at Triple-A Gwinnett.
STEALING SECOND: There's a terrific pitching matchup tonight as Curve RHP Phil Irwin (3-7, 2.93) faces Trenton RHP Brett Marshall (12-4, 2.77). Marshall leads the EL in wins and is fourth in ERA, while Irwin is fifth in ERA.
ROUNDING THIRD: Former Curve SS Brock Holt, who's now in Triple-A, leads the Eastern League in hitting at .322 and does have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title if he can stay on top. Holt will need 384 plate appearances (2.7 times 142 games) at season's end to qualify, and he's already got well above 400 for the Curve.
HEADING HOME: Akron's Chun-Hsiu Chen is second to Holt in hitting at .320, and if he can't finish .323 or better, it would mark the second straight year for a Curve player to win the batting title (Starling Marte in 2011).
- Cory Giger