PITTSBURGH — The Pirates acquired OF Marlon Byrd and C John Buck from the Mets on Tuesday, hoping the veterans can bolster a struggling offense as the franchise vies for its first playoff berth in 21 years.
Pittsburgh, which began the day a half-game back of the Cardinals for the NL Central lead, sent New York minor-league INF Dilson Herrera and a player to be named in exchange for Byrd, Buck and cash considerations.
Byrd, 35, is hitting .285 with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs this season and will give Pittsburgh needed outfield depth while leadoff hitter Starling Marte recovers from a wrist injury. Buck, 33, is batting .215 with 15 homers and 60 RBIs. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Buck's 63 homers as a catcher rank third in the majors. He is expected to back up Russell Martin.
CANO OKAY: Yankees 2B Robinson Cano sustained a bruised left hand when he was struck by a pitch in the first inning against the Blue Jays. Precautionary X-rays were negative.
JAPAN MARK NEARED: Former big-leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit two homers to move within five of tying Japanese baseball's single-season record of 55. Balentien's Yakult Swallows have 33 games left for him to match the record held by Sadaharu Oh in 1964, Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002.
EX-RAY TO PEN: The Royals will move former Rays RHP Wade Davis to the bullpen and call up LHP Danny Duffy from Triple-A Omaha today to replace him. Also, former Rays 1B Carlos Peña agreed to a minor-league contract.
AILING METS: Mets 3B David Wright, out with a strained right hamstring, is set to begin a minor-league rehab this week. Also, ace RHP Matt Harvey, who went on the DL with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, tweeted that he expects to be back by April, suggesting that he will try to avoid surgery.
BRAVES: An examination found only inflammation and no structural damage in RHP Brandon Beachy's surgically repaired elbow. He will be shut down for 10 days then re-evaluated.
GIANTS: OF Andres Torres is scheduled for season-ending surgery today to remove bone spurs in his left Achilles' tendon.
ROCKIES: RHP Rafael Betancourt has a torn elbow ligament, an MRI exam revealed. The closer said he will opt for platelet-rich plasma therapy rather than Tommy John elbow surgery.