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Morton set for Minor League rehab assignment

Right-hander recovering from labrum surgery expected to pitch Friday at Double-A
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Charlie Morton's journey back to the Pirates' roster took him from Pirate City to PNC Park on Tuesday. It appears Morton's next step will be a Minor League rehab assignment.

After throwing a bullpen session at PNC Park on Tuesday, Morton is expected to pitch Friday night for Double-A Altoona in Harrisburg, Pa.

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PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Charlie Morton's journey back to the Pirates' roster took him from Pirate City to PNC Park on Tuesday. It appears Morton's next step will be a Minor League rehab assignment.

After throwing a bullpen session at PNC Park on Tuesday, Morton is expected to pitch Friday night for Double-A Altoona in Harrisburg, Pa.

View Full Game Coverage

Pitchers can spend a maximum of 30 days on Minor League rehab assignments, giving the Pirates a month, if necessary, to evaluate Morton.

Working his way back from late-September labrum surgery on his right hip, Morton had been scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Saturday for Class A Advanced Bradenton.

Instead, the Pirates slightly altered Morton's schedule and had him throw in a simulated game at Pirate City.

Morton went through a normal Spring Training for the Bucs but found himself on the disabled list after an ugly exhibition start in Philadelphia on April 4.

Touching all the bases

• First: Prior to last weekend in St. Louis, the Pirates' last "walk-off" series of three consecutive walk-off losses was Aug. 20-22, 1991, in Philadelphia. That turned into a 98-win season for the Bucs, who took the old National League East by 14 games over St. Louis. Karma?

"Yes, I believe in karma," manager Clint Hurdle said.

• Second: And the Bucs' last all-extra-inning series, also as the recent one in Busch Stadium? June 9-11, 2000, in an Interleague series in Kansas City, so clearly it's a Missouri thing.

• Third: The Bucs have already played a part in three series sweeps, wins over Milwaukee and losses in Cincinnati and St. Louis. In 2014, they weren't involved in their third sweep until after the All-Star break in late July.

• Home: Pirates relievers negotiated with a fan to swap Jung Ho Kang's first Major League home run ball, struck Sunday into the seats above Busch Stadium's visitors' bullpen, for four other balls autographed by Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, Radhames Liz and Rob Scahill.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Charlie Morton