ATLANTA -- Jack Taschner, on the disabled list because of left hamstring tightness, made his first rehab appearances with Double-A Altoona on Saturday night and allowed a run in his one inning against Reading. He gave up two hits while walking one and striking out one.
The left-handed reliever will pitch another inning for the Curve on Monday and then will be re-evaluated. He went on DL on May 20, retroactive to May 18.
Taschner had made 16 appearances for the Pirates, going 1-0 with a 6.23 ERA. He had 15 strikeouts and six walks in 17 1/3 innings, allowing 21 hits.
The 32-year-old signed with the Pirates over the winter as a Minor League free agent after spent half of last season with the Phillies. He previously pitched for the Giants, making 63 appearances in 2007 and 67 in 2008.
Karstens likely to start Tuesday
ATLANTA -- No announcement has been made, but it appears that the Pirates will turn to Jeff Karstens as the starter for Tuesday's game against the Cubs at PNC Park.
The right-hander started three games earlier this season and worked four innings in relief of Charlie Morton on Thursday in Cincinnati.
With top prospect Brad Lincoln ruled out by manager John Russell as a potential replacement for Morton, the Pirates' only likely option other than plucking Karstens from the bullpen would be to promote Daniel McCutchen from Triple-A Indianapolis.
But McCutchen was ineffective while up with the Pirates earlier this season, going 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in four games.
Karstens pitched six scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over the Cardinals on May 8, allowing three hits while walking two and striking out four. He has made six relief appearances since, the longest when he followed Morton in Cincinnati.
The 27-year-old former Yankees pitcher gave up four hits and a run to the Reds after Morton had been battered for seven runs in the first two innings. Morton was put on the disabled list the next day with shoulder fatigue, opening a spot in the rotation.
Karstens was 1-1 with a 4.08 ERA in his three starts and is 0-0 with a 5.65 ERA in relief. His overall ERA is 4.78 and he has 19 strikeouts and 10 walks in 32 innings, allowing 32 hits.
After starting 13 games and making 26 relief appearances with Pirates in 2009, Karstens began this season in the Indianapolis bullpen. He made one start for the Indians before being called up.
Pirates re-shuffle lineup for finale
ATLANTA -- Another game, another lineup. The Pirates keep trying anything to get their offense going.
Sunday's lineup against the Braves featured just two players hitting in the same spot as in the series opener Friday, and Neil Walker and Garrett Jones were on the move defensively. Walker was back at third base and Jones was in left field instead of right for the first time.
With center fielder Andrew McCutchen leading off for the second game in a row, second baseman Aki Iwamura was dropped to No. 8 for the first time. Also in new lineup spots were right fielder Delwyn Young in the three hole, first baseman Jeff Clement batting fifth, and shortstop Ronny Cedeno in the sixth spot.
McCutchen had hit first just once this season prior to being put in the leadoff spot Saturday. Asked if he liked leading off, McCutchen, was noncommittal.
"It doesn't matter to me where I hit, along as I'm in the lineup," said the second-year player, who was batting .314 going into Sunday.
Pearce's rehab schedule not yet set
ATLANTA -- First baseman Steve Pearce, who sprained his ankle Monday in Cincinnati, still needs a protective boot on his right foot and it hasn't been determined when he might be able to go out on a rehab assignment.
"He's lucky he didn't break it," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We'll know more when he gets the boot off."
Pearce was hitting .276 in 15 games since being promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis. He had two double, a triple and five RBIs.
Varsho to return to bench Monday
ATLANTA -- Pirates bench coach Gary Varsho will rejoin the team Monday in Pittsburgh for the start of the series vs. the Cubs.
Varsho missed the Saturday and Sunday games with the Braves to attend the high school graduation in Wisconsin of daughter Taylor, the middle of three children.
Third-base coach Tony Beasley took over some of Varsho's duties during the bench coach's absence.
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.