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Cumpton optioned to make room for Cole

Righty sent to Triple-A after going 3-2 with a 4.61 ERA for the Pirates

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PITTSBURGH -- As expected, the Pirates on Saturday optioned right-hander Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A Indianapolis to accommodate Gerrit Cole's return.

Cole was activated from the disabled list, where he had been since June 4 while recovering from a fatigued right shoulder, and he started Saturday afternoon's game against the Mets.

Cumpton was one of three recent additions to the rotation on the bubble with Cole's return, along with Jeff Locke and Vance Worley.

Cumpton received a unique sendoff from manager Clint Hurdle, the night after he'd gone seven innings in the 3-2, 11-inning victory over New York.

According to Hurdle, this is what he conveyed to Cumpton in a brief early-afternoon meeting with the pitcher in his office:

"It wasn't a pitch-off. It's not you winning third place. Worley doesn't have an option, he's pitched well, he's staying. Locke has pitched well, he was an All-Star last year and he's back in play. He's staying. You pitched well. You have no need to hang your head. You picked up the club, you made a difference."

Cumpton was 3-2 with a 4.61 ERA in nine starts with the Pirates.

Locke also had an option but, in addition to the loyalty card played by Hurdle, also is the only left-hander in the rotation with Francisco Liriano on the DL with a strained left oblique.

"Guys are gonna hug you," Hurdle's message to Cumpton continued, "and tell you, 'Great job. Look forward to you coming back.' Sometimes you go and it's just, 'Hey, see you.' There won't be a 'Hey, see you' from one man out there. Take that back with you [to Indianapolis] and stay hungry. We're gonna need you again."

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.

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