DETROIT -- Apparently, there was a reason Jose Contreras had difficulty throwing strikes during his costly relief appearance in Monday's 6-5 loss to the Tigers: He couldn't bow his back -- a baseball euphemism for giving extra effort.
The Pirates on Tuesday placed Contreras on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his lower back. To take his place, right-hander Bryan Morris was recalled from Indianapolis, where he had been optioned only Monday morning.
Taking over in the seventh inning of a game the Bucs trailed, 4-3, Contreras allowed two runs, one on a bases-loaded walk, one of four passes he issued. Thus the Pirates' ensuing two-run rally in the eighth wasn't enough for a comeback win.
Contreras joined the Pirates earlier this month after completing his rehab from last June's Tommy John surgery. He has appeared in seven games, with five strikeouts and six walks in five innings.
Morris returns hoping to pick up where he left off. The former No. 1 Draft choice (2006, by the Dodgers) has made 11 relief appearances for the Bucs, with a 1-2 record and 3.45 ERA in 15 2/3 innings.
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.