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Pirates’ Gregory Polanco, Antonio Bastardo, and Starling Marte saved a bird during batting practice


Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a heartwarming story that occurred during batting practice at PNC Park before the Pirates hosted the Reds on Wednesday evening.

As Nesbitt tells it, first baseman Josh Bell hit a bird with a batted ball in batting practice. Reliever Antonio Bastardo said the bird was “disorientated,” so he and outfielder Gregory Polanco helped it before it could potentially get hurt any more. Outfielder Starling Marte came over and petted it while calling for the team trainer.

Update: Pictures!

Luckily for that bird, it appears to have had a better fate with the Pirates than a pigeon had flying in front of Randy Johnson during a spring training game in 2001.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.


Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.