Former Vanderbilt All-American walks, scores in MLB debut

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 10:03pm
Staff reports

Pedro Alvarez was hitless in two at-bats Wednesday but walked once and scored a run in his Major League Baseball debut.

Alvarez, a two-time All-American at Vanderbilt, scored the first run for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox in Pittsburgh.

"I thought I had some pretty good at-bats and some good looks at some pitches," Alvarez said. "I think that's the most important thing is that I saw some pitches, I got into some deep counts and kind of slowed down the game a little bit as the game went on."

He led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk and advanced to third when the next hitter, right fielder Lastings Milledge, hit a double. Alvarez scored on a groundout by Bobby Crosby. That got the Pirates within two, 3-1.

Alvarez batted sixth in the lineup and received a standing ovation from the crow of 15.218 at PNC Park when he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat. He struck out on a 3-2 pitch. He also had a fly out in the seventh.

“I look forward to having him in the middle of the lineup,” Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. “I think he'll do some great things for us.”

The second overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft, Alvarez was recalled Tuesday after having hit .277 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs for Class AAA Indianapolis.

He joined two other former Commodores, pitchers David Price (Tampa Bay) and Jensen Lewis (Cleveland) currently in the majors.

Last season, his first as a professional, he was named the Pirates’ Minor League Player of the Year after he hit .288 with 32 doubles, 27 home runs and 95 RBIs in 126 combined games with Class A Lynchburg and Class AA Altoona. He led all Pittsburgh prospects in home runs and RBIs last season.