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Clint Hurdle says Pedro Alvarez is close to making his debut at first base

Clint Hurdle says Pedro Alvarez is close to making his debut at first base Photo:

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle says Pedro Alvarez is close to playing his first game at first base. 

“He's working his backside off to find a level of comfort and say, ‘OK. I'm ready to go over there in a major league game,'” Hurdle said, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think we're real close to that. There will be a day here soon when you'll see him over there.”

Alvarez has struggled to make routine throws from third base, relegating him to the bench, so the Pirates began working him out at first base. 

More: Pirates 2B Neil Walker could be headed to DL with back injury​

Alvarez has started only one game at third this month. During that time Josh Harrison, his replacement, is batting .476 with a .762 slugging percentage.

Alvarez is batting .232 this season with a .397 slugging percentage.

Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez have split time at first base for Pittsburgh this season. Davis has gotten most of his playing time against righthanded pitching, and Sanchez against lefthanders.

More: Pirates' playoff hopes take a big hit after Andrew McCutchen's injury​

The Pirates are currently first in the National League Wild Card standings, and 2.5 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central.

- Dan Gartland

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