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Harrison still out with illness; Nova throws 'pen

Frazier gets start at second base in Sunday's finale in St. Louis
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Josh Harrison was on the bench again in Sunday afternoon's finale against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, with Adam Frazier filling in at second for the second time in three days. Harrison was scratched on Friday before the Pirates' game against the Cardinals with flu-like symptoms, and he's still recovering.

"I know, right now, we're going to take advantage of the two days with [Harrison] to try and give him today and give him tomorrow as well," manager Clint Hurdle said.

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ST. LOUIS -- Josh Harrison was on the bench again in Sunday afternoon's finale against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, with Adam Frazier filling in at second for the second time in three days. Harrison was scratched on Friday before the Pirates' game against the Cardinals with flu-like symptoms, and he's still recovering.

"I know, right now, we're going to take advantage of the two days with [Harrison] to try and give him today and give him tomorrow as well," manager Clint Hurdle said.

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Harrison's average has fallen to.271 after being as high as .319 on May 23. His batting numbers have been up and down all season, in part because Harrison also dealt with a fractured left hand, putting him on the DL for a month.

Video: PIT@CIN: Harrison has 4-hit game, go-ahead RBI triple

"The league punches back," Hurdle said. "You get on a roll, they see what you're hitting and they try not to throw it there. They try and throw in different areas."

Hurdle has called Harrison one of the Pirates' best players for his impact at the plate, in the field and in the clubhouse, and they need him to get right.

"He got off to such hard start out of the DL, which is rare," Hurdle said. "Sometimes, they have the funk when they come back. Sometimes, it shows up a little bit later."

Nova throws first bullpen session
Right-hander Ivan Nova threw in the bullpen for the first time since being placed on the DL on May 28 with a sprained right ring finger, which had been bothering him since late April. Nova (2-5, 4.96 ERA), who last started on May 24 in Cincinnati, is getting closer to returning.

"This was the first step back, other than treatment and therapy," Hurdle said.

Video: PIT@CIN: Nova strands a runner at third with a K

Nova said he could tell his finger was feeling better when throwing changeups and curves. The Pirates are going to see how he's doing after several more bullpen sessions, before deciding on the next step.

"I don't think they are going to throw me out there without facing some hitters," Nova said. "But if that's a choice, I'm going to go."

Sean Collins is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Josh Harrison, Ivan Nova