PITTSBURGH -- Rehabbing Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens was in the clubhouse at PNC Park before Wednesday's game against Minnesota, fresh off a dominating start the day before in Double-A Altoona. Karstens, who is currently on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation and a hip flexor issue, threw seven innings for the Curve, allowing one earned run while striking out five. "I felt really good," Karstens said. "I wasn't surprised to be that effective, because I felt ready the last time I pitched in Pawtucket, before I got sidetracked by the hip thing. And I'd been able to keep the arm fresh by throwing on flat ground."
In his previous outing, Karstens was forced to leave a Triple-A start early after feeling discomfort in what he thought was his groin, but what an MRI later revealed to be his hip flexor. The right-hander has a bullpen session tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. The manager also said Karstens is penciled in for a start Sunday in Triple-A Indianapolis, but that outing could be pushed to Monday if the pitcher needs an additional day off. Karstens hasn't started a game for the Pirates since April 17 in Arizona, where he left after giving up two earned runs in the first inning.