The Cincinnati Reds and Pirates played before one of the smallest crowds in PNC Park history Thursday, when downtown Pittsburgh was nearly empty because of the G-20 summit.
The paid attendance was 15,892 – well higher than the PNC Park’s all-time low of 8,201 on April 25, 2007, for an Astros-Pirates game – but the actual turnout was about 3,000.
The turnout was so small that the Pirates closed PNC Park’s upper deck for the first time since the 38,362-seat ballpark opened in 2001 and allowed fans to sit in first-level seats.
Foster will manage winter league team
Former Cincinnati star George Foster has been picked to manage the Lake County Black Bears of the new Florida Winter Baseball League.
The 1977 N.L. MVP will be managing in a four-team circuit for players from the minors and independent leagues. Ken Griffey Sr., his former Reds teammate, is the league’s commissioner.
Wedge offers words of encouragement
Indians manager Eric Wedge gave his team a pep talk before their game against the Detroit Tigers, opting for an encouraging message with Cleveland mired in a skid that reach 11 after Thursday’s 6-5 loss.
Wedge, who doesn’t know if he’ll be retained for the final year of his contract next season, said he told his team to keep its head up. The Indians have 12 rookies on their roster and are 3-19 this month.
“Regardless of how many times you get your butt handed to you, you still have to go out there and play with confidence,” he said. “You have to. You can never, ever lose that. You always have to walk strong with your chest out and be strong about what you’re able to do.”
Royals’ Greinke, Hillman ejected
Kansas City ace Zack Greinke and manager Trey Hillman were ejected by home plate umpire Greg Gibson in consecutive innings against Boston at Kansas City, Mo.
Greinke, who doesn’t pitch again until Sunday, was ejected with one out in the third inning after yelling from the bench on a pitch from Royals starter Anthony Lerew to Jacoby Ellsbury.
Hillman was sent off for arguing in the fourth after Lerew nearly hit Mike Lowell with consecutive breaking balls.
Gibson warned Lerew and both benches, sending Hillman charging out of the dugout. He was ejected within a few seconds.
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