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Holmes to start Friday so rotation can rest

MLB.com @adamdberry

SAN FRANCISCO -- Looking to rest their rotation after a series at Coors Field, the Pirates will call up rookie Clay Holmes to start Friday against the Giants at AT&T Park.

Holmes joined the Pirates' taxi squad before Thursday's series opener in San Francisco. Manager Clint Hurdle revealed that the right-hander will make his third Major League start on Friday against Giants left-hander Derek Holland. The announcement came as a surprise, but Hurdle said the Pirates began formulating this plan -- "finding a way to give guys some extra rest coming out of Colorado" -- shortly after the All-Star break.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Looking to rest their rotation after a series at Coors Field, the Pirates will call up rookie Clay Holmes to start Friday against the Giants at AT&T Park.

Holmes joined the Pirates' taxi squad before Thursday's series opener in San Francisco. Manager Clint Hurdle revealed that the right-hander will make his third Major League start on Friday against Giants left-hander Derek Holland. The announcement came as a surprise, but Hurdle said the Pirates began formulating this plan -- "finding a way to give guys some extra rest coming out of Colorado" -- shortly after the All-Star break.

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"Just to find a way to continue to advance his development, his growth, because we believe he's good enough that he's going to help us -- and he may end up having to help us again this month and possibly in September as well," Hurdle said. "It's all part of the pitching package, and I do think [the extra rest will] benefit the other guys, especially the ones that pitched in Colorado."

The Bucs will have to make a corresponding move on Friday to add Holmes to their active roster.

It's not as if Pittsburgh struggled in Colorado's hitter-friendly ballpark. The Pirates allowed seven runs in the three-game series, and the rotation did most of the heavy lifting. Joe Musgrove worked seven innings on 87 pitches in Monday's 2-0 loss. Jameson Taillon threw a complete game on 107 pitches in Tuesday's 10-2 win. The bullpen finally went to work on Wednesday, picking up the final four innings after Chris Archer went five frames in a 4-3 victory.

Hurdle said starting Holmes this weekend was part of the plan regardless of how the series in Colorado went, however, and it did not factor into how deep he let his starters pitch into those games.

Holmes made his Major League debut in April as a reliever and rejoined the Pirates bullpen in late June. He was thrust into Pittsburgh's rotation on July 4 at Dodger Stadium and struggled, allowing four runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. His second big league start was a marked improvement, as he struck out six and shut out the Brewers for six innings on July 14. He posted a 3.52 ERA over his last four Triple-A starts.

Video: MIL@PIT: Holmes on picking up his 1st big league win

The addition of Holmes bumps back Trevor Williams' next start to Saturday, with Musgrove pitching Sunday's series finale. The Pirates already have a scheduled off-day on Monday, so Taillon will be lined up to start Tuesday's series opener in Minnesota on six days' rest with Archer set to pitch Wednesday against the Twins. That means Archer won't be able to start during the Pirates' four-game series against the Cubs at PNC Park from Aug. 16-19.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Clay Holmes