The Pirates unconditionally released infielder Ramon Vazquez on Thursday. If he signs elsewhere, that team will be responsible for $400,000 of Vazquez’s salary, and the Pirates will be on the hook for the other $1.6 million. If Vazquez does not sign with anyone this year, the Pirates will have to pay his entire $2 million salary.
» Second baseman Aki Iwamura got his first hit in a Pirates uniform, singling in the third inning off Chad Billingsley.
» The Pirates started three bench players: Ryan Church in left field in place of Lastings Milledge, Delwyn Young in right field for Garrett Jones and Bobby Crosby at shortstop in place of Ronny Cedeno. Jones started at first base for Jeff Clement.
» John Raynor, a Rule 5 pickup from Florida, made his major-league debut as a pinch hitter in the ninth. He walked.
Click here to read the full article – By Karen Price of PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW