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Morgan confident in big league return

Morgan starts in center vs. Cards

ST. LOUIS -- It didn't take long to sense Nyjer Morgan's presence in the Busch Stadium visiting clubhouse on Tuesday. His buoyant personality usually takes care of that.

And with Nate McLouth battling illness, Morgan found himself stepping right in to the starting lineup.

Morgan was called up by the team following Monday's game to take Doug Mientkiewicz's spot on the 25-man roster. Mientkiewicz has been placed on the bereavement list so that he could stay in Pittsburgh with his wife, Jodi, who underwent heart surgery on Monday.

After a rough start to the season -- one that started with minimal playing time at the Major League level -- Morgan has rediscovered his swing in recent weeks. Since the start of July, Morgan has hit .340 with 13 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 36 runs scored. He also has 25 stolen bases during that seven-week span.

Morgan's secret behind his recent success? It turns out there was no secret at all.

"[I was] just going out there and having fun and enjoying the game of baseball," he said. "It was just one of those things where I just got hot and I've stayed with it."

With this latest callup, Morgan has been with the Pirates now three separate times this season. However, Tuesday marked just Morgan's fifth start in the 41 games with the Major League club. Morgan had six hits in 42 at-bats with the Pirates this year.

"Just being in the situation the first couple of months up and down, that was a different situation for me," Morgan said. "That was the first time I had ever been experience anything. I just had to get back to what I know and that was just having fun and not worrying about what was going to happen up here."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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