PITTSBURGH -- The pain in Paul Maholm's shoulder that landed him on the disabled list Friday has been a recurring, though often minor, issue for much of his career, the Pirates lefty said Saturday.

Maholm, who was diagnosed with a left shoulder strain and placed on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 18, said he did not want to do any more damage to the joint.

"I don't think it's anything big, but it kind of got to the point where I thought I was doing more harm to myself and the team by going out there," Maholm said.

This is the first stint on the disabled list for Maholm, who made his Major League debut in 2005.

"I've dealt with [shoulder pain] other years. It's usually gone away, and I've done pretty well," Maholm said. "This time, it just kept lingering and obviously, I don't want to just keep pitching to pitch and do anything major to it."

Maholm lasted just five innings in each of his last two outings. Since July 10, his ERA has risen from 2.96 to 3.66. Maholm said he did not think the pain had an effect on his mechanics, though.

"I'll take responsibility for every start," he said. "I'm not going to throw my shoulder into it. It's me going out there pitching.

"I've had some great starts. It's just on and off for the past little bit, where obviously, I haven't been effective. The team needs someone out there who can win games."

Recalled in emergency, Watson earns victory

PITTSBURGH -- When Pirates left-hander Tony Watson was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 6, he expressed optimism that he would rejoin the big league club quickly. Just two weeks later, he was called back up to take the roster spot of Paul Maholm.

He made the drive from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, and, just hours after he arrived, left PNC Park with his first Major League victory after the Pirates toppled the Reds, 5-3.

Watson entered a 3-3 game in the seventh and inherited a runner at second with no outs. He got Paul Janish to pop up on a sacrifice attempt, then secured a groundout and flyout to end the Reds' threat. Pittsburgh took the lead for good in the bottom half of the frame.

"It's awesome," Watson said of the milestone. "I didn't really go out there thinking I'd get my first Major League win -- the situation just presented itself. I was fortunate that we scored some runs there after my inning."

He was presented with a game ball when the victorious Pirates returned to the clubhouse.

"It was a very important inning for us," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He gave us what we needed in a tight spot."

Watson made his Major League debut on June 8 and has a 2.63 ERA in 26 games with the Bucs. He has transitioned to the role of long reliever throughout the summer, and Hurdle said that the Pirates sent Watson down simply to get some rest.

Watson pitched just four times while with Indianapolis but threw side sessions to stay sharp. His last outing was a 16-pitch effort on Friday, which was intended to make sure his arm was ready in case he was needed in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"To get an inning under my belt today and go back to back for the first time in a couple weeks is nice," Watson said. "It feels great."

Hurdle sets rotation for Brewers series

PITTSBURGH -- Following the Pirates' 5-3 win over the Reds on Saturday, manager Clint Hurdle announced that Brad Lincoln will move out of the 'pen to make a spot start in Game 2 of Monday's doubleheader against Milwaukee.

Ross Ohlendorf will then step into the rotation on Tuesday, which was supposed to be Paul Maholm's next day to pitch. Maholm landed on the disabled list this week with a left shoulder strain.

Jeff Karstens, as previously announced, will start Game 1 of the doubleheader, and Kevin Correia will close out the Brewers series on Wednesday.

Lincoln, who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 6, started nine games for the Pirates in 2010. He made one start for the big league club this season during a doubleheader against the Nationals on July 2.

He has pitched four times since being recalled, going two innings twice. His most recent outing was two-thirds of an inning on Friday.

"He's not stretched out like he was when he got here, but we backed him up with a couple of different opportunities to pitch the last couple days," Hurdle said. "I just think the opportunity to start again is going to add some adrenaline, some fuel to him. We'll see where he's able to take it."

Ohlendorf, who was activated from the disabled list on Aug. 12 and optioned to Triple-A, last pitched on Wednesday. In a seven-inning start for Indianapolis, Ohlendorf allowed two runs on six hits and one walk.

Hurdle did not speculate on whether it would be Lincoln or Ohlendorf who would remain in the rotation throughout Maholm's absence. However, the club is going to need to make a roster move before calling up Ohlendorf, and it's likely that will involve sending down Lincoln after he pitches on Monday.

Bucs bits

• Outfielder Alex Presley, on the 15-day disabled list since July 23 with a left thumb bruise, was 4-for-5 with three doubles and two runs scored Friday for Triple-A Indianapolis.

• Evan Meek is scheduled to throw one inning at Class A Advanced Bradenton on Sunday. Meek was placed on the 60-day DL on June 8 with right shoulder tendinitis.