Venezuela: Kidnapped mother of Pirates player rescued@

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS@

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan authorities said police have rescued the mother of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz, three days after she was kidnapped.

Zulia state Gov. Omar Prieto announced Sunday evening on his Twitter account that 72-year-old Ana Isabel Soto was rescued earlier in the day by judicial police, state police and other security officers.

Prieto said in a second tweet he ordered state police to investigate a police anti-drug team for alleged involvement in the kidnapping. He gave no other details.

"The Pittsburgh Pirates are relieved and overjoyed," team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement Monday. "We are incredibly grateful for the swift and effective work of the local law enforcement officials in Venezuela."

Pittsburgh confirmed on Thursday that Diaz's mother was missing and said the team was working with Venezuelan officials to secure her safe return.

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