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Cervelli passes concussion tests, plays vs. Twins

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- After leaving Tuesday's game early for precautionary reasons, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli passed a full battery of tests to determine his availability for Wednesday night's game at PNC Park.

Cervelli took a ball off his mask in the fifth inning before being replaced by backup catcher Chris Stewart during the Pirates' 8-5 loss to the Twins on Tuesday night. He was evaluated after the game and showed up Wednesday afternoon for further pregame testing.

Full Game Coverage

PITTSBURGH -- After leaving Tuesday's game early for precautionary reasons, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli passed a full battery of tests to determine his availability for Wednesday night's game at PNC Park.

Cervelli took a ball off his mask in the fifth inning before being replaced by backup catcher Chris Stewart during the Pirates' 8-5 loss to the Twins on Tuesday night. He was evaluated after the game and showed up Wednesday afternoon for further pregame testing.

Full Game Coverage

The Pirates summoned catcher Tony Sanchez to PNC Park, just in case they had to place Cervelli on the seven-day concussion disabled list, but no such move was necessary.

"He couldn't be in the lineup if the tests didn't go well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said shortly after slotting Cervelli into Wednesday's lineup behind the plate, batting seventh. "He felt good when he came in. They tested him again and they put him through a workout program as well, and he tested well."

Cervelli has taken a beating behind the plate lately. That's to be expected for any catcher, but he's been noticeably shaken up several times recently after being hit by deflected balls.

"I'm good," Cervelli said, smiling. "I've been taking a lot [of hits] lately."

Around the horn

• Right-hander Charlie Morton's next outing will come for the Pirates. Hurdle hasn't officially set a date for Morton's return, but it's expected to come next week.

Morton struck out nine while allowing two hits and two runs in a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday night. He opened the season on the disabled list following right hip surgery last September.

• Hurdle said he spoke with left fielder Starling Marte about the mental lapse in left field that led to an additional run scoring on Joe Mauer's second-inning single Tuesday night.

"It was a very disappointing play, and I shared my thoughts with the player personally," Hurdle said. "It wouldn't be the first time that I've shared my thoughts with Starling or any of the players when things have happened that we don't believe should happen to us. You've got to be pitch-ready for every pitch."

• Right fielder Gregory Polanco, who entered Wednesday night without a hit in his last six games, was left out of the starting lineup.

"It's been a hard stretch here lately, and he's fighting. He wants to play," Hurdle said. "He wants to compete. I think sometimes you've got to unplug him."

Josh Harrison made his first appearance in right field on Wednesday in Polanco's place. Harrison has caught fire offensively after a slow start, and Hurdle suggested the possibility that Harrison has grown more comfortable at the plate as he's moved around defensively.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates, Francisco Cervelli