06/25/12 7:25 PM ET
Lincoln comfortable with returning to bullpen
By Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
Lincoln, who was moved from the bullpen to the rotation on June 6, has made five starts in 2012, but none better than his last. On Saturday against the Tigers, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He went six-plus innings, surrendering just one run on two hits with seven strikeouts.
Lincoln called the start a confidence-builder as he heads back to the bullpen. In 20 relief appearances this season, he is 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA.
"I think it was more inevitable going back to the 'pen," Lincoln said on Monday. "[It was great] just to be able to go out there and have success and get my confidence back to where it needs to be before they do send me back to the 'pen. I've done it before, so it's not like something new to me. It's just one of those things to help the team. ... It's something that I've had success at and where I can stick up here [in the Majors]."
Hurdle said there's a lot of experience for Lincoln to gain.
"This season we're going to need more than five starters," Hurdle said. "He's gained that experience now of how he's best served going through that transition. He's done it. ... I just think it all plays out better when you can work through some adversity and have some success on the other side."
Morris' stint in Majors over after one day
PHILADELPHIA -- Bryan Morris got a very small taste of life in the big leagues. On Monday, one day after being promoted to the Pirates, the 25-year-old right-handed reliever was optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for Jeff Karstens, who was activated from the disabled list to start the series opener against the Phillies.
Morris, who did not have the opportunity to make his Major League debut in his one day with the club, is 1-2 with five saves and a 2.28 ERA in 23 relief appearances with Indianapolis.
Karstens (0-1, 4.50) took the mound on Monday for his first start since April 17. He was placed on the DL on April 18 and had not pitched since with shoulder and hip issues.
Karstens threw a bullpen session on Thursday, which he called "the best one I've had since Spring Training. Everything clicked."
Karstens' return bumps the rest of the rotation back a day.
Hughes available for opener vs. Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- On Monday, one day after he was not available out of the bullpen because of an undisclosed physical issue, Jared Hughes was deemed ready to go for the series opener against the Phillies.
Hughes would not identify the problem, saying only, "It was physical, and now it's better."
The 6-foot-7 right-hander, who is 2-0 with a 2.23 ERA in 28 games, threw from 120 feet with pitching coach Ray Searage in the bullpen on Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
"I feel good," Hughes said afterward. "Ready to get the ball down, throw some sinkers, get some outs."
Said manager Clint Hurdle: "He just had a quick something come up on him, and we're past it."
Sutton to join Pirates on Tuesday
PHILADELPHIA -- Infielder Drew Sutton, claimed off waivers from the Rays on Sunday, is set to join the Pirates on Tuesday afternoon. Sutton is at home spending time with his pregnant wife, whom he hadn't seen in two months, according to manager Clint Hurdle.
Sutton, who was designated for assignment on Friday, hit .271 with six RBIs in 18 games with Tampa Bay.
Sutton has also spent time with the Reds, Indians and Red Sox, and was actually with the Pirates for a day back on May 20 before he was traded to the Rays for cash considerations.
Sutton joins second baseman Neil Walker as the Pirates' only switch-hitters.
The Pirates have never won a series at Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004.
"We don't have a good record here," manager Clint Hurdle said. "As a matter of fact, I'll be the first one to tell you that early in my managerial career [with the Rockies], I don't think I ever managed a team that won a game at the old ballpark [Veterans Stadium]. I think we got wiped out the two times we went in, so I was a big fan of this park being built."
Pittsburgh's 18-9 record since May 25 was the best in the National League entering Monday's slate of games.
Entering Monday's game, Pirates starters combined for a 1.17 ERA in the previous six games.
Erik Bedard, who will start on Tuesday, is five strikeouts shy of 1,000 for his career. Reaching that mark would make him the 13th active left-hander with at least that many. The Yankees' Andy Pettitte is the active leader, with 2,303.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.