Morton rejoins Pirates, with first start nearing

Morton rejoins Pirates, with first start nearing

LOS ANGELES -- The last time Charlie Morton had joined the Pirates for an Opening Day gala, he was just visiting. This time, he's staying.

Morton had been in Pittsburgh for last Thursday's season opener, after which he'd returned to Florida to resume extended spring training.

Morton again rubbed elbows with Pittsburgh teammates lined up along the baseline following his introduction prior to Tuesday afternoon's Dodger Stadium opener. He trotted out of the Pirates' dugout a few hours after completing the convincing rehab start that should return him to the rotation this weekend.

The right-hander delivered 98 pitches in Monday night's start for Class A Indianapolis in Columbus, striking out eight while allowing six hits and a run in 7 2/3 innings.

The Pirates are weighing the roster move that would be needed to accommodate Morton, but manager Clint Hurdle acknowledged the likelihood he would be used in one of the starts against the Giants.