The Pirates entered Wednesday with just three quality starts from their staff in 13 games, the woes continuing early this week as starters James McDonald and Jonathan Sanchez struggled on back-to-back nights against St. Louis.

Manager Clint Hurdle needed good news, and he received it Wednesday, as No. 2 starter Wandy Rodriguez was announced as the team's starter for Friday's game against Atlanta at PNC Park.

The left-hander threw a bullpen session prior to Wednesday's game against St. Louis and was ruled well enough to make his next start. He left the team's April 8 game in Arizona after 21⁄3 innings with a tweaked hamstring. In two starts he's allowed one run over nine innings.

Minor leaguer suspended

The Triple-A International League on Wednesday suspended Pirates minor leaguer Jerry Sands for one game after an incident during a game Tuesday night in Toledo, Ohio. Sands, 25, is an outfielder with the Indianapolis Indians.

“There was a verbal dispute between a fan and Jerry Sands during which Jerry briefly entered into the stands,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said. “The situation was quickly resolved without further incident, as the fan was ejected for his actions. We do not condone Jerry's actions and support the league's decision to suspend him for one game.”

The incident began when a fan threw peanuts at Indy infielder Brandon Inge, the local newspaper reported.

Before the fifth inning, a fan went to the railing and exchanged words with Inge, and some of Indy players also got involved. The newspaper reported that after Sands tried to get into the stands, the fan tried to dump beer on the players and was escorted out of the stadium.

Indy broadcaster Will Flemming tweeted that Inge tried to defuse the situation by handing out baseballs to a few fans.

Inge, who signed as a free agent in February, is on a minor league rehab assignment with Indy, and he was back in the lineup Wednesday. The Pirates acquired Sands on Dec. 26 from the Boston Red Sox as part of the Joel Hanrahan trade.