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Worth noting

• Manager Clint Hurdle announced the Pirates' pitching plans for the opening weekend of Grapefruit League play.

Lefty Jeff Locke draws the start for Saturday's exhibition opener, in Port Charlotte, Fla., against the Rays, and will be followed to the hill by Chris Leroux, Bryan Morris, Mike Zagurski, Duke Welker, Vin Mazzaro and Brooks Brown, with Ryan Reid also an option. Pitchers will be on a strict pitch count.

When the scene shifts to McKechnie Field for Sunday's home opener, James McDonald will face the Braves, picked up by Jonathan Sanchez, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes and Justin Wilson.

• The first thing hockey geek Brandon Inge did upon arriving in Bradenton was get a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey customized with his name and No. 78, to match the uniform number the Pirates issued him.

• Which Pirates are most fundamentally sound in the batter's box? All week, workouts have been spiced by "execution" games in which players are graded on handling various game situations such as hit-and-run, squeeze bunts and scoring runners from third with less than two outs.

Michael McKenry, Garrett Jones, Matt Hague and Starling Marte have scored best. Low men? Russell Martin and Jerry Sands.