MLB

Pirates RHP Lincoln OK, but LHP Beimel hurting

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BRADENTON, Fla. (AP)

The Pittsburgh Pirates felt better about starter Brad Lincoln, even though he still was hurting. The outlook for reliever Joe Beimel seemed a bit more uncertain.

The Pirates got a mixed bag of injury updates on their ailing pitchers Saturday, with opening day less than two weeks away.

Lincoln is expected to be fine, a day after the right-hander was struck in his pitching arm by Jimmy Rollins' line drive. He should be ready to make his next start, despite some discomfort for now.

''It's really stiff, worse than yesterday,'' Lincoln said before Pittsburgh beat Boston 7-5. ''My strength is still good, though, and there's no structural damage.''

The 25-year-old Lincoln was the Pirates' No. 1 draft pick in 2006 and made his big league debut last year. He put up his hands to block Rollins' liner on Friday against Philadelphia and left with imprints of the ball's stitches on his upper forearm.

Beimel, however, was scratched from a scheduled appearance Saturday against the Red Sox because of soreness in his left elbow. He was shut down earlier this spring because of tightness in the same elbow and has had two poor outings since then.

''It's not the same spot that was hurting before. It's a little different. I think they're probably connected to each other,'' he said.

''It's a little frustrating. It felt pretty good for quite a while. It felt good the other day when I threw. I came in yesterday and had a little soreness. It got more sore through the night, and we decided it'd be best not to push it too hard,'' he said. ''I definitely don't want to take any steps back and have something serious happen. I'm just going to rest today and tomorrow and see how it feels.''

Beimel has pitched in at least 70 games the last two years, and 60 or more in five straight seasons.

''I've never had arm problems before in my life. That's what makes it so frustrating. I don't know what to expect from it,'' he said. ''From what they're saying and what they said a couple weeks ago, it's not like it's a ligament or anything. It has more to do with swelling, things like that.''

Beimel said no tests are scheduled at this point. The Pirates open the season on April 1 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, and Beimel is hoping he'll be able to pitch.

''I'm not sure what to say about that at this point,'' he said. ''I want to be out there pitching. But at the same time, I don't want to push it too hard to get ready for opening day and have a setback and be out for a lot longer.''

Beimel made his big league debut with the Pirates in 2001 and has since pitched for Minnesota, Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington and Colorado. He went 1-2 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rockies and agreed to a minor league contract with Pittsburgh.

Tagged: Pirates, Joe Beimel, Brad Lincoln

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