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Pirates look to bring Morton back to starting rotation

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said they're "leaning toward" bringing Charlie Morton back in the rotation after a successful rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday.

Morton flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday morning and was in uniform when they announced the team during Dodger Stadium's Opening Day pregame ceremony.

"We'll see how he feels physically, but we're hoping to get our hands on him," Hurdle said before the series opener against the Dodgers. "His next start will be on the 14th, whether it's a start out there or start here. We've had internal conversations. I think he's in a good place."

Morton pitched 7.2 innings and gave up one run, walked one, struck out eight and gave up six hits.

> > Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium opening, although the team was without legendary announcer Vin Scully. The 84-year-old Hall of Famer was at home with a cold, per doctor's orders.

> > Minor-league pitcher Mike Crotta underwent elbow surgery at the Andrews Institute in Pensacola, Fla., on Tuesday. Crotta tweeted that doctors removed a bone spur and inserted a screw, and said he is optimistic he'll be back by August.

> > Hurdle said the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium was going to be "cool for everybody here." He said he always thinks back to his first game at the ballpark as a player, up against Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden.

"It was electric," he said. "This place, for not being around a long time, has some great history and tradition."

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