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Karstens to return to Pirates' rotation

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Jeff Karstens (hip/shoulder) will start against the Phillies on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, while Brad Lincoln is returning to the bullpen despite his strong outing Saturday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>  Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review</em></div>Jeff Karstens (hip/shoulder) will start against the Phillies on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, while Brad Lincoln is returning to the bullpen despite his strong outing Saturday.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens was part of the trade that sent Xavier Nady to the New York Yankees.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens was part of the trade that sent Xavier Nady to the New York Yankees.

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PIRATES GAMEDAY

at PHILLIES7:05 p.m. today, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

TV/radio: Root Sports/KDKA-FM (93.7), WCNS-AM (1480), WJPA-AM (1450), Pirates Radio Network, XM 187

Probable pitchers: Pirates RHP Jeff Karstens (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Phillies RHP Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04)

7:05 p.m. Tuesday: Pirates LHP Erik Bedard (4-7, 4.13) vs. Phillies RHP Vance Worley (3-4, 2.78)

7:05 p.m. Wednesday: Pirates RHP James McDonald (6-3, 2.19) vs. TBA

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By John Grupp
Sunday, June 24, 2012, 5:46 p.m.
 

Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens (hip/shoulder) will start against the Phillies tonight at Citizens Bank Park, while Brad Lincoln is returning to the bullpen despite his strong outing Saturday.

Karstens (0-1, 4.50 ERA), on the disabled list since mid-April, was scratched from Sunday's scheduled rehab start at Triple-A Indianapolis. He threw seven innings of one-run ball in his final rehab start at Altoona, followed by encouraging bullpen work.

“I'm happy about it, and I'm just trying to keep this team doing what they are doing,” Karstens said. “It was probably the best bullpen that I threw from spring training throughout the whole year as far as what I wanted to do with the baseball.”

Everyone in the rotation will be pushed back one day — Erik Bedard (Tuesday), James McDonald (Wednesday), A.J. Burnett (Thursday) and Kevin Correia in the series opener Friday at St. Louis.

Meanwhile, Lincoln, coming off a six-inning, one-run effort in a 4-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday, remains the odd-man out. Manager Clint Hurdle said he's sticking with a five-man rotation.

• Oft-traveled Drew Sutton is back with the Pirates, and this time, he'll stay a little longer. The switch-hitting utilityman, acquired and then traded by the Pirates on consecutive days last month, rejoined the team after being claimed on waivers from Tampa Bay. Shortstop Jordy Mercer was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, reliever Bryan Morris was promoted from Indy and Charlie Morton, coming off Tommy John surgery, was moved to the 60-day DL. Sutton, who turns 29 on Saturday, hit .271 with six RBI in 18 games for the Rays.

• Neil Walker, who had started 52 games in a row and played in a team-high 69 games, was given a rare day off yesterday. Walker hadn't rested since the second game of an April 25 doubleheader. He was hitless in six career at-bats against Tigers starter Justin Verlander. Josh Harrison started at second base, and with Walker out, Pedro Alvarez moved up one spot to No. 5 in the batting order.

• General managerNeal Huntington said he remains optimistic about signing first-rounder Mark Appel, a right-hander from Stanford. “We would love to add an arm like that to our system,” Huntington said. “We understand that he may not have gone where he wanted to go. But we believe we are a great system for him to reach his potential, and we are doing everything in our power to get him in a Pirates uniform.”

— John Grupp

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