Pirates activate SS Jordy Mercer from DL after right knee injury

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates activated shortstop Jordy Mercer from the disabled list on Sunday and placed first baseman Travis Ishikawa on the 15-day DL with a lower back strain.

Mercer went on the disabled list on July 20 after spraining the MCL in his right knee and suffering a lower leg contusion in a collision with Carlos Gomez during a game in Milwaukee. Mercer is not in the starting lineup for Sunday night's game against the San Francisco Giants.

Rookie Jung Ho Kang has thrived since taking over regular shortstop duties in Mercer's absence. The 28-year-old Kang is hitting .290 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs this season. Manager Clint Hurdle says Kang "needs to play" and will work Mercer into the lineup at some point soon.