Pirates activate A.J. Burnett for start tonight against the Cardinals

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A.J. Burnett will make his Pirates’ debut a bit earlier than originally expected.

Kevin Correia was scratched from tonight’s start due to discomfort in his left side, so the Pirates have activated Burnett and will have him make the start instead. Burnett, who underwent surgery in early March to repair an orbital fracture of his right eye, was originally scheduled to make a rehab start with Double-A Altoona tonight.

The important part is that Burnett is back to full health, but he was knocked around for 11 runs on 14 hits in 10 1/3 innings (9.58 ERA) over three rehab outings with High-A Bradenton and Triple-A Indianapolis. He’ll have a tough first test tonight, facing a Cardinals’ team which is third in the majors with 77 runs scored.