Team Report - PITTSBURGH PIRATES

The SportsXchange

INSIDE PITCH

CINCINNATI -- Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte was given a day off Wednesday due to what manager Clint Hurdle referred to as a "disconnected" swing.

Marte went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Tuesday night's 7-5 loss at Cincinnati, dropping his average to .259 through 14 games. He struck out 23 times in 58 at-bats.

"The swing doesn't look right to me," said Hurdle on Wednesday morning. "We're going to back him away from the flame. He's tried to bunt, tried to get that part of his game in play. I just think he needs maybe a day off just to rest himself mentally."

Jose Tabata started in left field and batted leadoff for Wednesday's finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. It was Tabata's fourth start this season. He batted second in this previous three starts.

Marte led off in each of the Pirates' 14 games, but Hurdle is not pleased with the results.

"It's been too soft at the top of the order," he said. Marte's on-base percentage was just .348 with six walks. Last season Marte batted leadoff in 124 games and hit .278 with a .336 on-base percentage.

Marte entered Wednesday's game in the fifth inning when Tabata experienced mild concussion-like symptoms after crashing into the left field wall making a sensational grab of Brayan Pena's long drive in a 4-0 Cincinnati win. Tabata walked off the field with assistance from Hurdle and trainer Todd Tomczyk.

NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 7-8

STREAK: Lost two

NEXT: Brewers (RHP Yovani Gallardo, 2-0, 0.96) at Pirates (RHP Edinson Volquez, 0-0, 1.29 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--OF Starling Marte was given a day off Wednesday after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts to drop his average to .259 on Tuesday. Marte has struck out 23 times in 58 at-bats. "The swing doesn't look right to me," said manager Clint Hurdle. "We're going to back him away from the flame. He's tried to bunt, tried to get that part of his game in play. I just think he needs maybe a day off just to rest himself mentally."

--LF Jose Tabata started in left field Wednesday and batted leadoff in place of struggling OF Starling Marte. But Tabata left the game in the fifth inning after injuring himself crashing into the left wall to make a sensational catch on catcher Brayan Pena's line drive. Tabata, who experienced mild concussion-like symptoms, walked off the field with assistance from manager Clint Hurdle and trainer Todd Tomczyk.

--C Chris Stewart caught LHP Jeff Locke at Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday, going 1-for-3. It is possible that Stewart could rejoin the Pirates soon to complete his rehab with the big-league club, but manager Clint Hurdle said it was too soon to set a firm timetable.

--LHP Jeff Locke, who was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list April 11 and optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, started Wednesday. Locke gave up five runs in five innings, including two home runs, while striking out four and walking two.

--LHP Francisco Liriano struggled with his control at times during Wednesday's outing but had allowed only one run and four hits through six innings before Reds 1B Joey Votto hammered a two-run home run. Liriano finished with three earned runs and six hits allowed in seven innings. He walked three and threw two wild pitches.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "My hand was too dry, and the ball kept slipping." -- LHP Francisco Liriano, who struggled with his control at times during Wednesday's loss to Cincinnati.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--OF Jose Tabata (mild concussion symptoms) left the game after crashing into the left field wall April 16. He walked off the field with assistance from manager Clint Hurdle and trainer Tom Tomczyk.

--C Chris Stewart (right knee surgery) began the season on the disabled list. He is continuing his rehab at Triple-A Indianapolis, but manager Clint Hurdle said he might have Stewart complete his rehab with the big-league club.

--CF Andrew McCutchen (ankle) left the game April 11 in the eighth inning Friday. But he returned to action Saturday, and played Sunday as well.

--LHP Jeff Locke (right side strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list April 11 and optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

ROTATION:

LHP Francisco Liriano

RHP Charlie Morton

LHP Wandy Rodriguez

RHP Gerrit Cole

RHP Edinson Volquez

BULLPEN:

RHP Jason Grilli (closer)

RHP Mark Melancon

LHP Tony Watson

LHP Justin Wilson

RHP Bryan Morris

RHP Stolmy Pimentel

RHP Jeanmar Gomez

CATCHERS:

Russell Martin

Tony Sanchez

INFIELDERS:

1B Travis Ishikawa

2B Neil Walker

SS Jordy Mercer

3B Pedro Alvarez

INF Gaby Sanchez

INF Clint Barmes

INF/OF Josh Harrison

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Starling Marte

CF Andrew McCutchen

RF Travis Snider

OF Jose Tabata

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