C Jacob Stallings was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis with C Chris Stewart’s reinstatement from the DL. Stallings was 2-for-7 with a double in two games, including one start, since he was promoted June 7.
RHP Jameson Taillon (3-2) took the loss and perhaps a small took a step back as he made his second start since returning from surgery for testicular cancer. He gave up four runs on eight hits through five innings, with four strikeouts and one walk. He beat Colorado in his first game off the DL with five innings of scoreless work, with five hits, five strikeouts. “I think they’re looking for fastballs early, and then some breaking balls didn’t work his way at all,” manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday. “The curveball was inconsistent and the misfires he did have were barreled. They were up in the zone, so his overall command was probably a culprit.” But not anything major, Taillon said. “I felt good. Felt sharp. A couple pitches I would’ve liked to have back, but I felt like it was coming out of my hand clean. My mechanics felt good. A couple execution problems, but I felt fine.”
SS Jordy Mercer was 1-for-3 with his sixth homer, a solo shot that he lined into the left-field seats for Pittsburgh’s only run. “He hung that ball -- a slider or a curveball or whatever it was,” Mercer said of Chicago starter John Lackey. “Those are good to backspin. Those balls can go a long ways at times. I was able to just get underneath it. I hit it on a line but I didn’t think it was going to go out.”
C Chris Stewart was reinstated from the 10-day DL but did not play. He went on the DL May 30 because of a left hamstring strain. Stewart is 9-for-37 (.243) in 12 starts, with one error this season. However, Pittsburgh could have a tough decision to make with Stewart. No. 3 C Elias Diaz has sparkled with Stewart and C Francisco Cervelli injured at times this season. Manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates don’t want to keep three catchers for long, but said, “It’s awful hard to send down Diaz right now, based on his performance.”