6/20/2013 6:45 P.M. ET
Reliever Welker recalled, Presley optioned
By Jeremy Warnemuende / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- With four relievers unavailable for the series finale against the Reds on Thursday, the Pirates recalled right-hander Duke Welker to provide an extra arm in the bullpen. To make room for Welker, the club optioned outfielder Alex Presley to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Manager Clint Hurdle previously had backed away from adding a pitcher, especially considering he'll need a designated hitter in the lineup during the team's five-game American League West trip beginning Friday against the Angels.
But after four relievers threw 5 1/3 innings in Wednesday's 13-inning loss, Hurdle made the move to bring in Welker. Hurdle said the length of Welker's stay with the Pirates will depend largely on how Thursday's game plays out, as Vin Mazzaro and Justin Wilson aren't likely to pitch the next two days.
In 25 appearances (35 2/3 innings) for Indianapolis this season, Welker has gone 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA. He's shown the ability to extend himself, giving up only one hit in three innings on June 9. He also has three saves in four chances.
"He can give us some volume if we need to push," Hurdle said of Welker.
Welker was called up on May 8, but he was sent back down three days later without making an appearance. He has yet to make his Major League debut.
Gomez's next start likely to be with Pirates
CINCINNATI -- After Jeanmar Gomez's successful rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday, his next trip to the mound likely will be with the Pirates.
"Right now, I don't think so," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said when asked if Gomez will make another rehab start. "We'll see how he feels when we get our hands on him. He could be very well close to getting back in the mix."
Gomez tossed five no-hit innings for the Indians on Wednesday, striking out four and walking one. Hurdle was mostly pleased with Gomez's efficiency, as the right-hander found himself in just two three-ball counts. After his outing, Gomez went to the bullpen and threw 18 pitches to get to the 70-pitch mark.
Considering the team has three off-days coming in an 11-day stretch, Hurdle said Gomez could return from the right forearm strain and inflammation that's kept him on the disabled list since June 3.
"We've got vacation coming up," Hurdle said. "So we have some flexibility in what we might want to do."
• Hurdle wasn't sure yet if Brandon Cumpton's start on Thursday against the Reds was going to be his last with the big league club for the foreseeable future.
"We'll watch." Hurdle said before Cumpton got the no-decision in a 5-3 win over the Reds, allowing two runs, one earned, in five innings. "Those are great questions I don't need to give you answers to right now, because I want to see [Cumpton] pitch."
• After blowing his first save in 26 tries this season on Wednesday, Jason Grilli was one of four relievers unavailable on Thursday. Hurdle said he had an idea of who he would use to close in a save situation without Grilli, but he wouldn't share that information before the game.
"It's the big leagues. That's the beauty of it," Hurdle said. "We're just looking for the opportunity to get a save for somebody else."
Tony Watson ended up being the guy, as he threw two perfect innings for his second save of the season. Bryan Morris allowed one run in two innings of relief, and had his first Major League hit and scored on Pedro Alvarez's go-ahead three-run double.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.