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Pirates activate Cruz, send down Hughes

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Jared Hughes' statistics didn't suggest he should be sent to the minor leagues.

However, it was numbers that forced the Pirates to option the rookie right-handed reliever to Class AAA

Indianapolis before Sunday's 11-5 victory over the San Diego Padres. The move opened a roster spot for

reliever Juan Cruz to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Hughes was 2-1 with one save and a 2.70 ERA in 47 games. However, he had given up six runs in three

relief appearances and 3 1/3 innings until he pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings Saturday night in a 5-0 loss

to San Diego.

"As I told him, this really doesn't have to do with performance," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

"This has to do with numbers."

Hughes, optimistic by nature, took the demotion in stride.

"I made the adjustments I needed to (Sunday) and pitched well," Hughes said. "I made the adjustments to

where I think I can just continue doing that for the next few weeks, go down there, stay positive and earn

another call-up.

"I've got to go down, stay positive and pitch better. Right now, it's the way it's going to have to be

with the numbers. There's no sense in getting upset. I'll do my work and come back."

Cruz began the season with 11 scoreless innings in 12 appearances and is 1-1 with three saves and a 2.53

ERA in 38 games. He missed 23 games then pitched in two games for Class AA Altoona on an injury

rehabilitation assignment and allowed two runs and five hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Cruz pitched one scoreless inning Sunday, allowing one hit.

"We got to get Cruz back involved to see where he can take this next opportunity," Hurdle said. "Right

now, dependability is as important as anything. Obviously you want him to be effective. We're optimistic

that his own time down can give him a breath of fresh air and he can get after it again like we saw in

early April, and May, and even through early June."

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