• Noted clubhouse Star Wars freak Jason Grilli is quite proud of the full-body Chewbacca costume in the empty locker next to his, a recent gift from Martin. The eyes of the reliever with the "Cheese" nickname lit up when it was suggested to him that he should heretofore be known as "Cheesebacca."
• Righty Jeff Karstens (shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to make his next rehab start with Class A Bradenton on Saturday, when he will target four innings or 60 pitches. Karstens went three innings for the Marauders Monday night, allowing four hits and a run while striking out four without a walk.
• The Bucs have had four winning streaks of three games -- they've yet to reach four -- but here is the unusual part: All four have come against the same team, a three-game sweep of the Reds and the final three after dropping the first games of four-game series with the Braves, Phillies and Mets.
That oddity is also a reflection of the Pirates' overall record in the opening games of series, which fell to 4-9 with Monday night's 5-1 loss to Milwaukee. They are 18-8 in all the other games.