PITTSBURGH -- Clint Hurdle thinks Major League Baseball's Wild Card concept is grand -- just not for his team, not now.
With the Pirates tied for the National League Central lead entering Monday's beginning of the 13-game run to the wire, Hurdle does not want his players to take their eyes and minds off priority No. 1 -- raising that division flag.
As a concept, however, the manager endorsed the twin Wild Card setup -- mindful that baseball's other five divisions do not have gripping races, with second-place teams an average of 8 1/2 games behind the leaders.
"I'm for what's good for the game, and what's good for cities and their fans," Hurdle said. "The added value [Wild Cards] bring for certain fan bases to stay engaged longer ... I think it's good for the game."
Having the Wild Card precede the Pirates' NL Central carrot does create quite a dilemma for a team that hasn't uncorked anything for 21 years: the Bucs will clinch a Wild Card spot long before the division is settled, possibly by the end of this week.
How much celebrating do you do?
"I haven't given it any thought," Hurdle conceded. "Those aren't things you orchestrate. It'll happen when and how it's meant to happen, then we'll continue to take care of games in front of us."
Lambo, Glasnow receive Minor League honors
PITTSBURGH -- Outfielder Andrew Lambo, who recovered from an injury-wrecked 2012 season to rank fifth among all Minor Leaguers with 32 home runs, and right-hander Tyler Glasnow, who emerged from the shadows to go 9-3 with a 2.18 ERA at Class A West Virginia, on Monday were named the Pirates' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year.
Both players were presented with their plaques in an on-field ceremony before Monday night's game against the Padres.
Lambo, a big bat on the Bucs' bench during this month's stretch drive, combined to hit .282 while splitting the season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. He also combined to drive in 99 runs in 120 games, a leap in production and playing time from his 22 RBIs in 35 games last season.
"Andrew has overcome a lot of adversity over the last few years and showed up this year in Spring Training determined to take the next step in his career," Pirates director of Minor League operations Larry Broadway said in announcing the awards. "He did that and much more to earn a promotion from Altoona to Indianapolis then Pittsburgh, where he is doing everything he can to impact that club down the stretch."
"Guys try to be perfect in this game and hang 'em up when they're overcome by the negativity," Lambo, alluding to the challenge of a sport in which 30 percent success defines stardom, said before Monday night's game. "I try to stay positive and always believed. I couldn't imagine this -- but I prepared last offseason to be as consistent as possible."
Glasnow, a 20-year-old right-hander who was the club's fifth-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, broke into pro ball last year by going 0-3 in 11 starts at the bottom rungs of the Pirates' system.
"Tyler has worked extremely hard since we drafted him," Broadway said. "He continues to want to get better every day and puts in the effort to do so."
First number, last word
12: Times Pirates pitching has held foes to three or fewer hits this season -- tying a live-ball club record shared with the franchise's 1916, 1965 and 1975 staffs.
"I got that list in my drawer, and have been able to cross over a few things. It's a work in progress, but we continue to find our way to doing some things we needed to do as an organization." -- Hurdle, on being able to check off another item on his to-do list when the Pirates clinched their first winning record within the NL Central with Sunday's victory over the Cubs
• As part of Tuesday's celebration of Roberto Clemente Day throughout the Majors, Hurdle and the entire team will drop in on Pittsburgh Spring Hill Elementary School in the morning to hand deliver $40,000 worth of school supplies and do a meet-and-greet the students.
• Starling Marte (right-hand bruise) is close enough to being able to swing the bat that, had his lineup spot come up Sunday after he'd entered the game defensively, he would have taken the turn.
• The Pirates have dedicated this season to getting even for a lot of mistreatment the past 20 years -- and the Padres in Pittsburgh rank near the top of that list. Entering this four-game series, the Friars had won 28 of their 38 games in PNC Park, taking every series played between the teams on that field.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.