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Pirates reinstate Dickerson from disabled list

Cervelli starts at first base; Brault optioned to Triple-A
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates activated left fielder Corey Dickerson (strained left hamstring) from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. To make room on the active roster, infielder/outfielder Christopher Bostick was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Dickerson was not in the starting lineup for Saturday night's 8-4 loss to the Cardinals, but he pinch-hit in the ninth inning and flied out to center field.

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PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates activated left fielder Corey Dickerson (strained left hamstring) from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. To make room on the active roster, infielder/outfielder Christopher Bostick was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Dickerson was not in the starting lineup for Saturday night's 8-4 loss to the Cardinals, but he pinch-hit in the ninth inning and flied out to center field.

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Dickerson's DL stint retroactively began on July 25, one day after exiting a game early in Cleveland. He'd caught fire offensively prior to the injury, batting .400 with a 1.254 OPS and six home runs over 18 games in July.

After running bases, constantly stretching and working through normal baseball activities without feeling any discomfort or pain, Dickerson felt he "got to a good place" to return to the club.

"I wouldn't be back at all if I couldn't play the game the right way," Dickerson said. "Or at least know I can contribute, know I can help the team. If I knew I couldn't do that, I wouldn't be back. I'd still be trying to get back to that point."

Dickerson has played in 91 games for the Pirates this season, slashing .318/.351/.517. On the other side of the ball, his nine defensive runs saved trails only Adam Duvall for the most by National League left fielders. Pittsburgh has gone 4-4 in the eight games since Dickerson went on the DL, but has won 17 of its past 22 dating back to July 8.

"It's tough, but it's also fun to watch," Dickerson said. "It's fun to be in the situation, no matter if you're playing or not. To be cheering my teammates on, or trying to contribute in some way. I'm just grateful to be back. We've got a lot of time left, a lot of games left, and I'm lucky it happened when it did."

Bostick was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on July 31. He appeared in two games during his time with the club, going 0-for-2 at the plate.

Cervelli starts at first base
After spending 62 of his first 66 games in 2018 behind the plate, veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli started Saturday's game against the Cardinals at first base. He went 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk and a strikeout.

Video: STL@PIT: Cervelli flashes skills at first base in 5th

"My mentality right now is win games," Cervelli said. "Anything I can do to help. If they think I can help playing another position, I'll do it. Personally, I think I can do more catching and that's what I love to do. But like I say, if they need me at short, third, in the outfield, I'll do it."

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle alluded to it being a possibility on Friday, stating that "there'll be a day when we've got to put it in play because there's nowhere else to find out."

Josh Bell, who has made 93 starts at first base for the Pirates this season, remains on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. Saturday marked just the eighth time in Cervelli's 11-year career he'd manned first base, and the first time he'd done it since April 20, 2016.

"It's not as easy as people think it is," Hurdle said. "Some guys make it look easy … Francisco shows all the actions you want to see. The hand and the foot work. He's done it in the past a little bit. He's actually played second base. But you've got to get them in a game to find out where they are and what you have."

Brault continuing relief work in Triple-A
Struggling left-hander Steven Brault was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday as the Pirates recalled right-hander Dovydas Neverauskas. Dating back to the start of June, Brault made 17 appearances for the Pirates and posted a 5.65 ERA while striking out 24 and walking 26 over 28 2/3 innings.

Brault, who primarily served as a long reliever, started five games with the Pirates this season after making four starts last year and seven in 2017. Hurdle stated that the plan is for him to continue getting work as a relief pitcher while in Triple-A.

"We could really use an effective left-handed reliever at the Major League level right now, and that was our conversation with Steven," Hurdle said. "How can we get him online and in track with the command being effective at this level? We believe initially it's going to be more touches, more frequent touches, maybe even every other day with a different working routine in between. We still maintain that the bullpen, that's his best avenue to get back here to help us."

Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Corey Dickerson