Andrew Lambo strode to the batters box at 8:41 p.m. Tuesday chewing hard on a wad of gum before he grounded out on a dribbler to first base on the third pitch he saw.

By the end of the night he went 0 for 3 with a couple of groundouts to first and a strikeout before being replaced in the seventh.

Not exactly the stuff of legend but it was a long-awaited major league debut for Lambo after 2451 at-bats in seven minor league seasons.

Lambo who was inserted into the starting lineup after Jose Tabata was scratched with flu-like symptoms powered his way through Class AA Altoona and Class AAA Indianapolis this season hitting 31 homers with a .350 on-base percentage.

The chatter for his bat -- he hits left-handed -- got louder by the day as the Pirates continued to look for an everyday right fielder.
"He was absolutely destroying the ball in Indy. It was crazy. It was a video game" said catcher Tony Sanchez who spent parts of three seasons playing with Lambo in the minor leagues.

Lambo who replaced Alex Presley on the active roster said his manager in Indianapolis told him he would not be joining the team for a function on their day off Monday.

"He said because you're going to go to St. Louis" Lambo said as his face lit up. "I didn't know what he was talking about. He said 'You're going to St. Louis to play with the big club.' It was pretty cool."

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said it was time for his promotion for a number of reasons.

"To get a read on him at this level" said Hurdle. "To make sure that we're not going to overlook an in-house opportunity that we have. The question will always be are they ready? For me there's only one way to find out if they're ready.