PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates placed utility man Steve Pearce on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right index finger on Tuesday and recalled infielder Pedro Ciriaco.

Pearce injured his finger when he dove for a ball in the eighth inning while playing third base on Monday. The ball took a hop and hit the tip of his finger. Pearce remained in the game and even went to bat in the bottom half of the inning, but he left before the ninth.

"It was hurting pretty bad when it happened," Pearce said. "I was hoping the ball wouldn't be hit to me because it was pretty sore."

He had an X-ray on Monday night and an MRI on Tuesday. With the new injury, he did not know whether he would be able to return to the Pirates this season.

Pearce missed nearly two months with a right calf strain earlier this season. He was activated from the disabled list on July 23.

"It's been a long season," Pearce said. "It's been one thing after another. Just freak injuries -- I can't avoid them. ... It's frustrating. I hadn't been playing well, trying to find it, coming back from the rehab. Even [though] I'm not getting results, I'm actually starting to feel really good at the plate. I'm finally starting to get comfortable, into a rhythm, and boom, the finger happens."

Pirates name Thompson Wednesday starter

PITTSBURGH -- When the call came from Triple-A Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor on Monday night, Aaron Thompson anticipated he was once again on the move. Thompson guessed that move would be bringing him back to Double-A Altoona, which is where Thompson has spent the majority of the season.

But much to Thompson's surprise, the summons was coming from Pittsburgh.

Thompson will make his Major League debut on Wednesday after being named the starter for the Pirates' series finale against the Brewers. Finding a spot starter became necessary when Kevin Correia was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

"I'm very excited to be up here," said Thompson. "[It is] totally unexpected."

Thompson isn't all that stretched out, though manager Clint Hurdle estimated that the left-hander could give the team a 50-55 pitch effort. Thompson bounced from Altoona's rotation to the bullpen and then was thrust back into a starting role when he joined the Indianapolis club. The lefty made three appearances for Indianapolis following his Aug. 10 callup.

Thompson pitched four innings in each of his last two Triple-A outings, both of which were starts. He did not allow a run in either game.

"I think regardless of results, I've been throwing the ball well," Thompson said. "I just had to keep doing it. Starting from Spring Training, I've really been working on getting back to what I did earlier in my career."

The Pirates cleared a spot for Thompson after Tuesday's 11-4 loss by optioning infielder Pedro Ciriaco down to Triple-A. Ciriaco had been recalled earlier in the day to take Steve Pearce's spot on the roster.

Thompson's stay in Pittsburgh is likely going to be a short one. The Pirates will want to get another position player back after Thompson makes his spot start, and Brad Lincoln will be assuming Correia's rotation spot moving forward.

Correia hopes to make it back this season

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Kevin Correia held out hope that he would be able to return to the Pirates this season after a strained left oblique landed him on the disabled list on Monday.

"I'm going to try," Correia said. "They're not real sure, but I'm going to do everything I can to try to get back."

Correia injured the muscle during his last start, Friday against the Reds. He said he noticed it while at bat in the bottom of the fourth inning. He allowed four runs in the fifth inning and stayed in the game through the sixth.

"I just went back out for the fifth and knew I'd strained it," he said. "I managed to pitch a couple more innings after that. Not very pretty innings."

Correia was sidelined by a strained oblique in 2008 and missed all of May and half of June -- "a good chunk of the season," he said. But he said this injury was not nearly as bad.

He said he only feels the pain when he throws, meaning he cannot play catch for the time being.

"We'll test it at some point here, see if I can throw," he said. "I've pretty much got one more chance. If I can throw in a couple weeks, then I'll be able to make it back. If I'm not able to play catch then, it'll be too late."

McKenry gets first taste of third base in bigs

PITTSBURGH -- In the first game of Monday's doubleheader against the Brewers, manager Clint Hurdle had already used one third baseman, Brandon Wood, when his replacement, Steve Pearce, left with a broken right index finger. Josh Harrison, the Pirates' other option at third, had started the game at second and had already been replaced. So Hurdle turned to catcher Michael McKenry.

"He just asked, 'Hey, can you handle it over there?' And I said, 'Yeah, I'll do whatever I can to stop the ball and get it over to first base,'" McKenry said. "He threw me out there. We were in a pickle, and I always said I'd do anything to help the team."

McKenry had not played third base since he was an underclassman at Middle Tennessee State, at least seven years ago. He said catchers take ground balls during batting practice, so he wasn't completely unfamiliar with the position -- but that doesn't mean he knew how he'd handle a ball hit at him.

"I wanted to make a play," he said. "But I was more worried about how I was going to stop it. Whether it was going to be with my glove or my body. I'm so used to stopping things with my body, I don't know if I could use the glove."

So after his first professional appearance there, will McKenry lobby for more playing time at third base?

"No, I like catching too much," he said. "Way, way too much."

Bucs bits

• Lefty Paul Maholm was back in the Pirates' clubhouse on Tuesday, one day after visiting Dr. James Andrews. Andrews confirmed that Maholm is suffering from a left shoulder strain. There is no timetable as to how long Maholm might be out.

"Hopefully, I'm a quick healer and I can get back to throwing as quickly as possible," Maholm said.

• Starter Jeff Karstens had his right shoulder examined on Tuesday after feeling a slight cramp in the back of it after the final pitch he threw in Monday's outing. All tests came back negative, and Karstens went through his normal long-toss session on Tuesday without issue.

• In five games since being sent down, third baseman Pedro Alvarez is 2-for-18 with two walks and eight strikeouts with Triple-A Indianapolis. Alvarez is expected to remain there until the end of the Triple-A season.

• The Pirates signed right-hander Nelson Figueroa to a Minor League deal on Tuesday and added him to the Triple-A roster. Figueroa will start for Indianapolis on Wednesday now that Aaron Thompson is in Pittsburgh. Figueroa pitched in Pittsburgh in 2003-04 and had an 8.69 ERA in eight games (five starts) for the Astros this season.