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Pirates seek return of player's missing mom in Venezuela

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pirates president Frank Coonelly says the team is working with authorities to secure the safe return of the mother of catcher Elias Diaz.

Team officials did not specify the circumstances, but Venezuelan media reported Thursday that the 24-year-old player's mother was kidnapped in San Francisco, a city about 430 miles (700 kilometers) west of Caracas.

Coonelly says in a statement that the team is "shocked and deeply concerned for Elias' mother, as well as for Elias and his entire family."

Diaz played 64 games for Pittsburgh in 2017, hitting .223 with 19 RBIs and 18 runs.

Coonelly says the team and Major League Baseball are helping support Diaz and his family. He declined to provide additional details, asking that the family's privacy be respected.

Updated February 8, 2018

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