CINCINNATI -- On Tuesday the Pirates recalled outfielder Alex Presley from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to their Triple-A affiliate.
Presley, the Pirates' Opening Day starter in left field, was optioned to Indy on May 16 when his average dipped to .220 after 34 games. The 26-year old spent less than three weeks at Triple-A where he hit .277 with five home runs and 14 RBIs.
"Timing was a big thing for me, that was the key," Presley said. "Pitch selection came together with my rhythm, my hands, seeing the ball on time. Everything just kind of came together."
Presley started in left field and was back in the leadoff spot for Tuesday night's series opener against the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
"We need some juice at the top," said Hurdle. "We're hoping Alex can come back and give us a little shot in the arm. He's been swinging at strikes. His hands are in the right place. The reports have been positive."
Hernandez went 2-for-10 with two RBIs in nine games since being recalled from Triple-A on May 18. The Pirates might've considered placing Jose Tabata on the disabled list to make room for Presley. But Tabata's leg soreness has improved to the point where he was available to pinch-hit on Tuesday.
"It's much better," Hurdle said. "He's in the training room just getting maintenance work on it right now. As far as being able to physically play, absolutely."
Hurdle continues to sit struggling Alvarez
CINCINNATI -- The Pirates' struggling third baseman Pedro Alvarez was given another day off on Tuesday. And Bucs manager Clint Hurdle said it might not be the last.
"We had a little chat today," said Hurdle before Tuesday's series opener in Cincinnati. "He went out and hit early. This would be the second day [with Monday's off-day]. I would anticipate there being another day."
Alvarez, who's batting .194, is hitless in his past 18 at-bats. He has 60 strikeouts in 160 at-bats, and is batting just .138 in his last 25 games.
Casey McGehee started at third base on Tuesday.
• Pirates infielder Josh Harrison, a graduate of Cincinnati's Princeton High School, was honored prior to Tuesday night's game at Great American Ball Park along with his teammates from Princeton's 2005 team that reached the state semifinals. Harrison also played three seasons at the University of Cincinnati where he ranks among the school's all-time leaders in batting average (4th, .358), hits (4th, 246) and stolen bases (2nd, 63).
• The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are playing a concert in Cincinnati on Wednesday, took batting practice prior to Tuesday's night game at Great American Ball Park as guests of Reds pitcher, and former Pirate, Bronson Arroyo.
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.