SAN FRANCISCO -- For the second time this week, an injury to a Pirates outfielder forced the team to recall a player from the minor leagues.
The Pirates placed Starling Marte on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a contusion and sprained ligament in his right hand. They recalled outfielder Andrew Lambo from Class AAA Indianapolis to take Marte's place.
The move is retroactive to Monday, meaning Marte can return as early as Sept. 3, but manager Clint Hurdle did not know how much time Marte would miss.
"We'll have more information when we get home and he's seen by our doctors," Hurdle said.
Marte has not played since last Sunday. He suffered the injury sliding into third base against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In addition to the contusion, Marte sprained a ligament near the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint, the knuckle closest to the wrist, on his right ring finger.
"No complications working his way back, all part of the original injury," Hurdle said.
Marte, 24, is hitting .282 with a .343 on-base percentage, a league-high 10 triples, 11 home runs and 35 stolen bases.
Marte's injury and outfielder Jose Tabata's minor knee tendinitis caused the Pirates to add Felix Pie to the roster Wednesday. Pie, 28, also was with Class AAA Indianapolis.
Lambo, 25, appeared in four games with the Pirates earlier this month and had one hit, a double, in 10 plate appearances.
He was optioned to the minors Aug. 18, but the Pirates were permitted to recall him before he spent 10 days on optional assignment because they put a player on the active roster on the disabled list.
Because Marte will be out until September, Lambo will likely spend the rest of the season on the active roster. All MLB active rosters expand from 25 to 40 players on Sept. 1.
"Nothing's given," Lambo said. "You got to go out there and show them that you can contribute to the team. Nothing's ever given. September and all that, it's not like a given just because rosters expand. You still got to go out there and perform, work hard and have fun."
Lambo went right into the lineup Saturday, batting seventh and playing right field. He only played three games with Indianapolis after the Pirates sent him back to the minors. He went 1 for 4 with a home run in the Indians' win Thursday after going 0 for 4 Monday in his first game back.
"This is a winning team," Lambo said. "Right now, anything to help the team is what we need. That's the goal tonight, is contributing to a W. That's everybody's objective in this clubhouse and it's pretty much my objective."
Cole's next start delayed
The Pirates once again will use a scheduled off day to delay Gerrit Cole's next start in an effort to limit the rookie right-hander's innings.
Cole will start Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. His most recent start was Wednesday, meaning he will have seven days off between starts. He threw a bullpen session Saturday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Cole has pitched 146 innings between the minors and majors this season. He threw 132 innings, plus some work in the fall instructional league, in 2012, his first full season in the pros.
Jeff Locke will start Tuesday against the Brewers, followed by Charlie Morton and Cole. Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett will start the first two games of the weekend series against the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.
Hurdle would not say how many more innings the Pirates are comfortable with Cole throwing.
The Pirates also used an off day to give Cole seven days off between his starts Aug. 8 and Aug. 16.
Bill Brink: email@example.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published August 25, 2013 4:00 AM