RHP Jeff Karstens (shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session Thursday and is scheduled to throw another Sunday. Yesterday’s workout consisted of 36 pitches, fastballs and a few changeups. Karstens will accompany the Pirates on their road trip next week to Miami, Washington and Detroit. After that, he’ll likely make his first rehab start with Double-A Altoona, which plays at home May 18-24.
»»» Bedard in limbo: Manager Clint Hurdle will huddle with his lieutenants after batting practice to discuss whether LHP Erik Bedard (back spasms) will make his next scheduled start Monday against the Marlins. Bedard is on the field during bp, doing some light workouts to test his mobility. If Bedard is scratched (which probably would mean a DL stint), look for RHP Brad Lincoln to make a spot start and reliever Daniel McCutchen, who was called up yesterday when Joel Hanrahan went on the bereavement list, to spend a few extra days with the club.
»»» Minor matter: I got a couple of emails to day about an online game tracker that showed RHP Jameson Taillon and reliever Porfirio Lopez combining to throw a mere 67 pitches over nine innings yesterday for High-A Bradenton. It’s simply not true. I checked with the front office, and Taillon actually threw 66 pitches (45 strikes) in six innings — still a very good outing — and Lopez threw 55 (30 strikes). Whoever was doing the game tracker kept good records for the first couple of innings, then either lost count or got lazy and started recording everything as a one-pitch out.
Game 32: Astros @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET
Astros (14-17): 1. Jordan Shafer cf, 2. Jed Lowrie ss, 3. Jose Altuve 2b, 4. Carlos Lee 1b, 5. Brian Bogusevic rf, 6. Chris Johnson 3b, 7. Justin Maxwell lf, 8. Jason Castro c, 9. Bud Norris (2-1, 4.58)
Pirates (13-17): 1. Jose Tabata rf, 2. Alex Presley lf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Garrett Jones 1b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Michael McKenry c, 9. James McDonald (2-1, 2.70)