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09/11/08 12:52 AM ET

Gorzelanny leaves early with injury

Southpaw clutches left middle finger before departing in third

HOUSTON -- Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny left Wednesday's game against the Astros with irritation in his left middle finger. The injury flared up in the bottom of the third with one out, two on and a 2-2 count to Houston's Lance Berkman.

Gorzelanny will have the finger examined by a specialist when the team returns to Pittsburgh on Friday.

He left trailing, 2-0, after having thrown 52 pitches -- 31 for strikes. The lefty issued two walks, allowed three hits and struck out two. T.J. Beam relieved Gorzelanny and got out of the third-inning jam with no damage done by Houston.

Concerning this latest injury, Gorzelanny will not know whether his season ended with a pitch to Lance Berkman in the third until the team returns to Pittsburgh on Friday and he sees a specialist.

"I threw a pitch and I just kind of felt a pop in my finger," Gorzelanny said. "It felt kind of funny. It swelled up a little bit. It's really sore."

While the severity and the cause of the injury are unknown, it could stem from a slight ailment that Gorzelanny took into the game. The left-hander admitted to jamming the same finger a few days back -- how he did so, he doesn't know -- which could have contributed to the sudden pop he felt.

Wednesday marked Gorzelanny's fourth start since returning from a seven-start stint in the Minors. The left-hander was 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in those past three starts.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.