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Dumatrait activated; Karstens on leave

Phil Dumatrait is back on the Pirates’ roster for the first time in more than a year. The lefty was activated today off the 60-day disabled list and probably will be used as a reliever/spot starter. To make room for Dumatrait, righty Jeff Karstens was placed on the bereavement list. Karstens is on his way to San Diego to be with his sick grandmother.

• When Donnie Veal goes to the Arizona Fall League, the Pirates plan to convert him back to a starter. That removes another option from an already thin list of left-handed candidates for next season’s bullpen.

The team likely will, as manager John Russell has suggested, go shopping for a lefty this offseason. But general manager Neal Huntington does not rate it his top priority.

“A good major league setup reliever, right or left, beats a bad left-handed specialist,” Huntington said, noting that the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angles have been title contenders without dominant lefties.

The Pirates’ bullpen could, in theory, get by without a left-hander — but only if the rotation does its job.

“If you have starters who go deep into the game on a consistent basis, you can go one-hitter or two-hitter matchups in the eighth or ninth inning,” Huntington said.

• Lineups for tonight’s game:

REDS — 1. Chris Dickerson lf, 2. Drew Stubbs cf, 3. Joey Votto 1b, 4. Lance Nix rf, 5. Adam Rosales 3b, 6. Drew Sutton 2b, 7. Ryan Hanigan c, 8. Paul Janish ss, 9. Micah Owings (6-11, 4.35) rhp

PIRATES (48-70) — 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Delwyn Young 2b, 3. Garrett Jones rf, 4. Andy LaRoche 3b, 5. Ryan Doumit c, 6.Lastings Milledge lf, 7. Steve Pearce 1b, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Charlie Morton (2-6, 5.51) rhp

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