Pirates activate Rodriguez to start this afternoon's game in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- The Pirates activated Wandy Rodriguez, today’s starting pitcher, from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Jaff Decker to Class AAA Indianapolis.

Rodriguez went on the DL April 21 because of inflammation in his right knee. In four starts prior to his DL stint, Rodriguez had a 7.65 ERA, a .306 opponent batting average and seven home runs allowed in 20 innings pitched.

Manager Clint Hurdle said Rodriguez’s right knee — the landing leg for a left-handed pitcher — prevented him from consistently throwing the ball down in the strike zone, which could have led to the increased home run totals.

The move balanced the Pirates’ roster at 12 pitchers and 13 position players. During a stretch with several scheduled days off, the Pirates carried an extra bench player and only four starters instead of the usual five.

The Pirates recalled Decker Sunday after Starling Marte left Saturday’s game due to tightness in his back. Marte returned to action Wednesday, hitting a pinch-hit, two-run double to cap a ninth-inning rally that gave the Pirates a win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and Twitter @BrinkPG.

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