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Agrazal to start Wednesday, Lyles on Saturday


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HOUSTON -- Dario Agrazal made a strong enough first impression on the Pirates that he will get a second look.

The Pirates plan to recall Agrazal from Class AAA Indianapolis on Wednesday night to start against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. He went through a workout with the rest of the pitchers before Tuesday night’s opener of the three-game series.

The Pirates have decided to use a spot starter Wednesday so the rest of the rotation could get extra rest.

Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles is expected to be activated from the injured list Saturday to start that night against the Brewers in Milwaukee. He rejoined the team Tuesday after making a rehab start Sunday for Indianapolis.

Agrazal, a right-hander, made his major-league debut June 15 against the Marlins in Miami and allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings. He could have gotten out of the start without allowing a run if the Pirates had turned a double play behind him.

“What I was able to grasp more than anything was the motivation to keep going through my routine because I saw that it can be successful at this level,” Agrazal said through translator Mike Gonzalez. “I’m excited to be back.”

Agrazal, 24, is 4-3 with a 4.00 ERA in nine starts with Indianapolis. He began the season at Class AA Altoona, going 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four starts.

“His mound demeanor has been good in the minor leagues all the way up,” Clint Hurdle said. “He showed that he was poised and focused (in his debut). One inning, we didn’t handle the ball really well but he kept throwing strikes and staying focused.”

Lyles has been on the IL since June 9 with a tight left hamstring. He pitched 5 2/3 innings Sunday for Indianapolis, allowing only one run against Pawtucket, the Red Sox’s top farm club.

“He feels really good about what he was able to accomplish,” Hurdle said. “The reports were very, very good.”

In his past big-league four starts, Lyles is 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA. He was 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his first nine games after signing a one-year, $2.05-million contract as a free agent in December.

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