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Karstens ready to pitch

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Right-hander Jeff Karstens (shoulder) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session this afternoon, and reported no ill effects. “It wasn’t great at first, but it got better as I went along,” Karstens said.

He would like to pitch in a game, even if it’s just a relief outings, before the season is out. “I feel like I can pitch,” Karstens said. “I don’t know how sharp I’ll be, considering it’s been a while, but I want to do it.”

Manager John Russell was noncommittal: “If everything goes well, we’d like to get him out there on this (upcoming) road trip,” Russell said. “It’s important, not only for his sake. We’d like to see him pitch again. I know he wants to. It would be good for him to go into the offseason, knowing he’s healthy and ready to go.”

Lineups for tonight’s game:

Astros (73-80) – 1. Jason Bourgeois cf, 2. Angel Sanchez ss, 3. Hunter Pence rf, 4. Carlos Lee lf, 5. Jeff Keppinger 2b, 6. Chris Johnson 3b, 7. Humberto Quintero c, 8 .Brett Wallace 1b, 9. Brett Myers (13-7, 2.76) rhp

Pirates (53-99) – 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Jose Tabata lf, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Garrett Jones 1b, 5. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 6. John Bowker rf, 7. Ronny Cedeno ss, 8. Chris Snyder c, 9. James McDonald (4-5, 4.09) rhp

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