Ankle injury knocks out Rivera

Brewers backup catcher Mike Rivera sprained his left ankle trying to block the plate in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Pirates and exited after finishing the frame.

He was replaced by Jason Kendall, Milwaukee’s regular catcher who led the Majors last season with 149 starts. Manager Ken Macha hoped to lower that number a bit this season by pairing Rivera with Brewers starter Dave Bush, giving Kendall a built-in break every fifth day.

The Pirates took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning and extended it to 3-1 on Nyjer Morgan’s sacrifice fly to left field. It scored speedy Pirates shortstop Brian Bixler, who arrived at home plate along with Ryan Braun’s throw but slid safely through Rivera, who immediately crouched in pain.

After a visit from assistant athletic trainer Dan Wright, Rivera remained in the game as Bush finished the inning.

Rivera grounded out in his only plate appearance on Tuesday and is hitting .308 in limited duty. Last year he played in just 21 games but batted .306 with 14 RBIs.

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