The Pirates will try to bolster their bullpen with struggling right-hander John Axford.
Axford has a 3.92 ERA in about 43 innings pitched during this season, striking out 51 and walking 30 while allowing 1.47 walks plus hits per inning. He will be returning to the NL Central, where he found success in four-plus seasons in Milwaukee and a partial season in St. Louis. However, he's taken a few steps back in the past years, with his fielding independent pitching (FIP) steadily increasing from 2.41 in 2011 to 4.71 today. He's getting more ground balls this season, but opposing batters have accepted the free passes he's offered.
He last pitched on Aug. 8, allowing four runs to the Yankees.
The Pirates, who dropped their last two games in Detroit to see their lead for the NL's second wild card spot fall to a half-game, have shuffled right-handers recently. Pittsburgh recalled Brandon Crumpton to replace Casey Sadler on Tuesday. Ernesto Frieri, acquired from the Angels in June for Jason Grilli, cleared waivers after being designated for assignment Friday and was outrighted to the minors on Wednesday.