HOUSTON -- Bobby Crosby wasn't in Friday's starting lineup, but he was available to play as his left shoulder is no longer a problem. He made his last start at third base Sunday and has been out of the starting lineup the past four games due to inflammation in the left shoulder.

"There was a little soreness the past few days, but I'm ready to go," said Crosby. "It got banged up. I just needed a few days' rest.

"[Friday] is the first day I'm ready. I can do everything I normally do for the team."

There's a strong possibility Crosby will start on Saturday. Crosby has made three starts this season, one each at third, first and shortstop.

Crosby initially injured the shoulder diving for a ball at San Francisco, and in the same game the condition of the shoulder worsened when he made an awkward jump at a ball.

Bucs option Diaz, recall Jakubauskas

HOUSTON -- The Pirates optioned shortstop Argenis Diaz to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday and recalled right-handed pitcher Chris Jakubauskas from Indianapolis.

Jakubauskas remains an option to start Saturday night's game opposite the Astros' Wandy Rodriguez.

The 31-year-old Jakubauskas was starting at Indianapolis. His upcoming role for the Pirates could be as a starter or long reliever.

Jakubauskas spent the majority of the 2009 season with Seattle, compiling a 6-7 record and 5.32 ERA. He had eight starts in 35 games. The Pirates claimed him off waivers last November.

Players hold meeting to shake off series

HOUSTON -- The Pirates had a players-only meeting on Friday, a day after the Bucs suffered a 20-0 home loss to close out a three-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee, the worst loss in the history of the franchise.

Pirates outfielder Ryan Church said it was a customary meeting after an ugly loss, the prevailing theme of which was to encourage players to put the defeat in the rearview mirror.

"We talked about having fun," said Church. "We have a good team, a good mix of veterans and young players."

Despite the sweep and Thursday's defeat, the Pirates entered Friday's game just one game below .500 at 7-8.

"In the meeting we talked about not dwelling on the past and focus on the future," said Church. "We got to get back to the basics. The season is a marathon, we're only 15 games into the season."

Experience teaches Kerrigan short memory

HOUSTON -- Pirates pitching coach Joe Kerrigan has been down this road before -- trying to recover from a forgettable series. The Pirates arrived in Houston on Friday for a three-game series coming off the worst loss in Pirates history, 20-0, to Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon.

In the three-game series with the Brewers, the Pirates were outscored, 36-1.

"That's not the worst whooping I've been involved with," said Kerrigan.

When Kerrigan was pitching for Baltimore in 1978, the Orioles allowed 40 runs in a series against Milwaukee. In that series Kerrigan gave up a grand slam to Larry Hisle.

"It's one of those things you say, 'Well, been there, done that,'" said Kerrigan.

One of the problems with Pittsburgh pitching is the inability to throw first-pitch strikes. The Pirates throw first-pitch strikes 53 percent of the time. The National League average is 58 percent.

"That's us in a nutshell," said Kerrigan. "You can't pitch from behind. Especially with a young pitching staff."

Clement knows that he needs to produce

HOUSTON -- Considered the Pirates' regular first baseman, Jeff Clement was in the starting lineup on Friday, making his 11th start at first base.

Batting .135 entering Friday, Clement has not started five games this season.

"I understand the situation," Clement said. "Obviously, I'm off to a slow start. You have to keep players fresh and give them at-bats."

Clement snapped a 0-for-20 streak on Tuesday and hit a solo homer in the seventh inning Friday.