The Pirates recalled right-hander Brad Lincoln from Class AAA Indianapolis Saturday to add a fresh pitcher to a staff that has struggled in recent games.
They optioned left-hander Tony Watson to Indianapolis to make room for Lincoln, who said he believed he would pitch out of the bullpen but was not certain of his role.
"I'm still going to go out there and go right at guys and pitch my game," he said.
"Just because I'm coming out of the 'pen in the middle of the game, it's not going to change anything."
Manager Clint Hurdle said after the game Friday that the team had considered optioning a reliever to add a pitcher with a fresh arm to the bullpen.
Watson allowed four runs in his past three appearances, a span of 41/3 innings.
Lincoln had a 7-8 record with a 4.19 ERA at Indianapolis. He made a spot start against the Washington Nationals July 2 and allowed two runs in six innings.
"My last outing [with Indianapolis] was a little rough, but, other than that, I had a stretch of 10 to 12 starts where it was pretty good," he said. "I'm coming in feeling all right, glad to be here and help turn around this little bad spell we got going right now."
Lincoln's presence will provide a break to a bullpen that has pitched often all season, especially the past few weeks. Entering the game Saturday, the relievers had allowed a combined 20 runs in the eight consecutive losses, an average of 2.5 runs per game.
Watson had a 2.73 ERA in 261/3 innings with the Pirates this season.
"Basically, the biggest thing here was just trusting my stuff," Watson said.
"Going out there, competing, learning from the veteran guys different things.
"I know that I'll be back. When I come back, I'll have this experience to fall back on."
The Pirates' relievers had thrown 3472/3 innings this season, the seventh most in the majors this season. That workload, combined with recent extra-inning games, lends itself to reduced preparation.
"If you're up a lot and you're pitching a lot, you've got to back off in other areas," Joe Beimel said.
"There's really no way to burn the candle at both ends or you're going to scuffle a little bit."
Beimel said earlier in his career, he tried to prepare the same way in August as he did in March, and he felt like he was "throwing wiffle balls up there. There's nothing behind it."
Veteran players advised him to scale back his workload as the season progressed, and he became comfortable with it.
"When we were in Philadelphia, I think they got me up three times," he said.
"I think I threw a total of 18 pitches. I threw five, five and eight and went into the game."
• Alex Presley will travel to Pirates headquarters in Bradenton, Fla., today to work his way back from an injury to the webbing between his left thumb and index finger.
• Derrek Lee did not start his third consecutive game because of a sore left hand.
• The Pirates announced that they have signed fifth-round draft pick Tyler Glasnow, a right-handed pitcher from Hart High School in Santa Clarita, Calif. Baseball America reported he received a $600,000 bonus, well over the estimated recommended slot price of $166,500 for the first pick in the fifth round.