CINCINNATI -- September is giving the Pirates a specialist they could not afford to carry on the routine 25-man roster: Someone with the legs and savvy to occasionally steal a key base.That would be Chase d'Arnaud, the infielder who rejoined the Bucs from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. With the Indians, d'Arnaud was successful on 37 of 42 steal attempts -- and the other Pirates must look at those numbers with the same wonder with which d'Arnaud looks at theirs. On the big league level, the Pirates have been caught on 45 of their 103 attempts. "Chase has been one of the best basestealers in our system," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Very daring, good breaks, good reads. I really think that's instinctive, more than something that can be taught. "We'll use him off the bench to pinch-run when appropriate. We'll use him whenever we can to take advantage of those running skills." d'Arnaud has already proven his knack translates to the Major League level. He batted only .217 in 48 games during his big league debut last season, but did go 12-for-14 in steals. "I spend a lot of time on my running," d'Arnaud said. "I take pride in it."
Andrew McCutchen began Monday's game five runs shy of becoming the first Pirates player to score in triple figures since 2008, when Nate McLouth crossed the plate 113 times. Neil Walker (lower back tightness) took his rehab work outside on Monday, taking regular batting practice in addition to doing defensive and running drills. Cincinnati native Josh Harrison went 4-for-8 in the Pirates' Aug. 3-5 series here, but was not in Monday night's lineup.
"Everything is in front of us. If I'm a player, it's time to win a game. Time to put your foot down and win a game. We had an opportunity to do some things at home and did not get that done. Now we have to find a way to win against the best in the division."
-- Hurdle, on his way from a 2-4 homestand to Cincinnati
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.