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Stiff shoulder forces Gorzelanny out

Stiff shoulder forces Gorzelanny out

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NEW YORK -- Tom Gorzelanny left Wednesday's game in the third inning with left shoulder stiffness, after allowing a season-high six runs to the Mets. The lefty wasn't feeling any pain outside of the stiffness, and said he expects to make his next start.

"I felt like I was lobbing it up there," Gorzelanny said. "It's just one of those times, it's like a freak thing happens and I don't feel as comfortable as normal."

Pirates manager Jim Tracy pulled Gorzelanny with one out in the third, after he allowed five hits and a walk to the first six batters of the inning. The lefty's struggles began in the first inning when he walked two batters, allowed three runs and reported the stiffness to Tracy. The two decided to see if the situation improved, and it did -- three Mets went down in order in the second.

But it came right back in the third inning, when the first six batters all reached base. The sixth of those would be Gorzelanny's last of the night.

"You could tell that it wasn't going to get any better," Tracy said. "We thought it was after the real good second inning that he had, but obviously he had some problems in the third inning beyond that."

Gorzelanny was replaced by Tony Armas, who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.

The lefty allowed seven hits in total and walked three, striking out only one -- his lowest count of the season. The outing marked the shortest start of his career, and just the second time he's ever been unable to make it out of the third. He owned a 9-5 record and 3.20 ERA entering the game, a mark that has since ballooned to 3.55.

He's never felt shoulder stiffness like this before, and attributed it mostly to the dog days of his first full season in the Major Leagues. Gorzelanny's 134 1/3 innings have doubled his career total to date, and put him on pace to throw over 200 for the first time in his professional career. His previous high had been the 161 innings he threw between the Majors and Minors last season.

While Gorzelanny said he expects to make his next start on Monday against St. Louis, both he and Tracy noted that they would heed to caution if any lingering effects crop up. Tracy said the team will likely delay in making a decision on his status until later this week.

"We just got to wait and see," Gorzelanny said. "I don't want to push it, but I feel that I want to go out there."

Anthony DiComo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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