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Harrison takes rest day, aims to avoid DL

Rodriguez stays at 2nd to spell J-Hay; Cervelli taking ground balls
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Josh Harrison was out of the Pirates' lineup for the second straight day Saturday. The second baseman sustained a strained left hamstring in Pittsburgh's first-half finale on Sunday against Milwaukee. Sean Rodriguez started at second base for the second straight game after being activated on Friday.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Harrison worked out on the field before Friday's game and did so again on Saturday and took some ground balls, weather permitting. Harrison ran sprints in foul territory on Friday.

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CINCINNATI -- Josh Harrison was out of the Pirates' lineup for the second straight day Saturday. The second baseman sustained a strained left hamstring in Pittsburgh's first-half finale on Sunday against Milwaukee. Sean Rodriguez started at second base for the second straight game after being activated on Friday.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Harrison worked out on the field before Friday's game and did so again on Saturday and took some ground balls, weather permitting. Harrison ran sprints in foul territory on Friday.

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The club believes Harrison can get back to game action without a disabled list stint, which played into the decision to option reliever Tanner Anderson to Triple-A Indianapolis upon Rodriguez's activation on Friday.

"[Harrison] understands the best Josh Harrison needs to be able to go out there and play without hesitation and without reservation, especially [now that] we've turned into the second half," Hurdle said. "We are just trying to be smart with him, as we would with any other player. It seems there is an opportunity for him to come back without just placing him on the disabled list and backdating it to Monday or Tuesday. It doesn't look like it will take him until Thursday or Friday to get ready to play and participate.

"We do believe we have a window that he can be back on the field and play. If we meet that window, then we will be good."

Rodriguez certainly picked up the slack in Harrison's absence. He had three hits and four RBIs including a three-run home run in Friday's win.

Video: PIT@CIN: Rodriguez belts a 3-run homer in the 6th

Burdi throws one inning in rehab assignment
Pirates pitcher Nick Burdi threw an inning of relief on Friday with Class A Advanced Bradenton in his second rehab appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2017. Burdi gave up a solo home run but struck out the side in his lone inning. The right-hander also struck out the side in a scoreless inning on Monday.

Pittsburgh selected Burdi in the Rule 5 Draft, and he has spent most of the year at the team's facility in Bradenton rehabbing and going through simulated games. Hurdle says he has not heard anything specific from Burdi's outing yet.

"I saw Nick actually while at the beach," Hurdle said. "I went by to see Pat Hagerty, our equipment manager, and Nick was in the room. He is excited about being engaged again, getting on the mound and throwing again. The numbers look good. The readings on the gun were firm."

Cervelli takes ground balls before game
Francisco Cervelli took ground balls at first base before Saturday's game against the Reds. The Pirates' catcher was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list on July 14, just six days after being reactivated due to post-concussion symptoms. Cervelli took a foul tip off of the face mask on June 9 at Wrigley Field, was out for four days, retuned to play six games, then reported a recurrence of concussion symptoms after a game on June 21 and was placed on the disabled list the next day.

Cervelli is hitting .272 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 60 games this season.

Brian Scott Rippee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Francisco Cervelli, Josh Harrison