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Pirates

Pirates turn to Indy again, recall relief pitcher Josh Smoker

Jerry DiPaola
| Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 5:36 p.m.
Pirates pitcher Josh Smoker talks with pitching coach Ray Searage in the bullpen Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Josh Smoker talks with pitching coach Ray Searage in the bullpen Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

The Pirates reached onto their Triple-A Indianapolis roster Wednesday, recalling 29-year-old relief pitcher Josh Smoker.

Smoker replaces Joe Musgrove (infected finger), the second Pirates starter placed on the disabled list in the past week. He joins Chad Kuhl (forearm strain).

The insertion of Smoker into the bullpen continues a trend during the current series with the hot-hitting Los Angeles Dodgers of using pitchers who have played most of the season in Indianapolis.

Nick Kingham started the 17-1 loss to the Dodgers on Monday, and Clay Holmes started Wednesday's game. The Dodgers also beat veteran starting pitcher Ivan Nova on Tuesday, 8-3.

Smoker, acquired in a trade with the New York Mets in January, started the season with the Pirates but lasted only five games. He was sent to Indianapolis after allowing nine hits (one homer), four earned runs and two walks in four innings.

Smoker found an improved level of performance in Indianapolis, recording a 3-1 record, 2.59 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 31 13 innings.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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