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MIA@CHC: Alvarez fans five before exiting with injury

The Pirates' dream outfield is quickly starting to show its potential.

Gregory Polanco received his much anticipated promotion to the Majors in the past week to play right field, and he has joined left fielder Starling Marte and center fielder Andrew McCutchen, last year's National League Most Valuable Player, to ignite the team's offense at the top of the order.

During the Pirates' past three games, including the first two of this series against the Marlins, the three have combined to go 21-for-47 (.447) at the plate with three home runs, 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

The Pirates have won five of their past six games to push their record back to .500 for the first time since April 17, and they will try to complete a three-game sweep of the Marlins on Sunday in Miami.

The Marlins will counter with starter Henderson Alvarez. He will try to slow down the hot-hitting Pirates, who have scored 72 runs and belted 16 home runs in June. This will be Alvarez's third career start against the Pirates, and he is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA against them.

Alvarez left his previous start in the sixth inning when Luis Valbeuna, the Cubs third baseman, chopped a grounder to first baseman Garrett Jones. Alvarez raced to cover first base and over-extended his legs while fielding a high flip from Jones.

Alvarez insisted he could have continued in that game, but he was replaced for precautionary reasons. He got some extra rest with off-days on Monday and Thursday and is not expected to have any lingering issues.

"We dodged a bullet," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "He landed hard, and he got stretched out there."

Pirates: Worley to start in place of Liriano
The Pirates will promote righty Vance Worley from Triple-A Indianapolis to make his Pittsburgh debut Sunday to start in place of injured left-hander Francisco Liriano, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a left oblique strain.

The Pirates acquired Worley from the Twins at the end of Spring Training. In the Minors he posted a 3-2 record with a 4.30 ERA in seven starts at Indianapolis. Worley was the Opening Day starter for Minnesota in 2013, but he scuffled to a 1-5 record and a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts before being demoted to Triple-A.

"In Minnesota, going there, sometimes things just don't work," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "And then when they're not working you maybe try and change some things and redirect some things. ... It's just about helping a guy find his way back, something we've had a little experience in doing throughout the years."

Marlins: Furcal easing back into shape
Rafael Furcal had spent the entire 2014 season on the disabled list before playing all 13 innings Friday in a season debut that lasted 4 hours, 26 minutes.

The Marlins are still closely monitoring the veteran second baseman, so after playing again on Saturday, Furcal will almost certainly get Father's Day off.

"Right out of the chute we played 13 innings," Redmond said. "That's the way it goes. It's going to take a little while, like everybody, to adjust. He hasn't played in a Major League game in a long time. All we can do is roll him out there and get adjusted and get comfortable and let him play.

"He's always been at his best when he just goes out there and plays. We'll see how he feels with his workload."

Worth noting
• Reed Johnson will remain in left field as Christian Yelich recovers from back spasms. Yelich tweaked his back while fielding Polanco's single to lead off Friday night's game. He was replaced by Johnson after the first inning.

• The Pirates have at least 10 hits in six straight games (76-for-225, .338) while scoring 33 runs over that span.

• Pittsburgh has secured its first winning series in Miami since 2007.

• Casey McGehee extended his season-high hit streak to nine games. In that span, he's .385 (15-for-39) with two doubles and four RBIs. Comments