MILWAUKEE -- Jeff Karstens' attempt to pitch his way past the strained right groin that had shortened his previous start was brief -- and costly.
Karstens was pulled from Friday night's 9-3 loss against the Brewers with one out in the first inning -- after getting a visit from the trainer, but not before allowing four runs and five hits. The Brewers announced that he left the game because of a right hip flexor strain.
The start came only six days after the groin injury had forced Karstens out of last Saturday's start against the Brewers in PNC Park. The right-hander's medical tests had been clean, and his between-starts work had gone routinely.
But all along, manager Clint Hurdle had conceded off-mound work isn't conclusive and said that "we'll just wait and see" how Karstens does in game conditions.
What the Pirates saw was not pretty. Lacking about four, five miles off the normal speed of his pitches, Karstens allowed a leadoff double to Nyjer Morgan, a single to Rickie Weeks, a two-run single to Aramis Ramirez and a two-run homer to Corey Hart.
He remained in the game to face Jonathan Lucroy, who singled to right to bring Hurdle and the trainer out of the dugout.
Kyle McPherson, recalled prior to the game from Indianapolis, replaced Karstens with one out in the first.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.