Brandon Morrow allows five runs in three-inning start at Single-A

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The Blue Jays placed right-hander Brandon Morrow on the 15-day disabled list at the start of the regular season due to forearm inflammation. On Thursday, he took a big but shaky step toward returning.

According to John Lott of Toronto’s National Post, Morrow allowed five runs — four earned — over just three innings in a rehab outing at Single-A Dunedin. He struck out only two batters and walked one.

The poor results are somewhat worrisome, but Morrow showed ace-like stuff in the second half of the 2010 season and may have been working out some of his lingering discomfort on the Single-A mound this evening. He’ll get at least one more rehab start to build his arm strength and he should hit the ground running when Toronto finally activates him from the disabled list.

Aaron Gleeman picked Morrow as one of his “breakout picks” of 2011 during spring training.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.