Pirates notebook: Starling Marte goes on bereavement list

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ST. LOUIS -- The Pirates placed outfielder Starling Marte on the bereavement list Wednesday because of the death or illness of a family member and called up infielder Matt Hague from Class AAA Indianapolis to take his place.

Marte must spend at least three days, but no more than seven, on the bereavement list.

The Pirates selected the contract of Hague, who was not on the 40-man roster, and designated minor league right-hander Duke Welker for assignment.

Hague, 28, had a .363 on-base percentage and 13 home runs in 333 plate appearances for Indianapolis this season. His 59 RBIs led the International League.

"He's given quality at-bats for two years now," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's gone down there with a very professional work ethic and game ethic as far as just showing up and continuing to play and being dependable."

Hague made his major league debut with the Pirates in 2012 and went 16 for 70 in 30 games, but has not returned to the majors since. He bats right-handed and can play first and third base.

Welker, who most recently pitched for Indianapolis, had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery June 5.

Liriano returns Sunday

Francisco Liriano will return to the rotation Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds, Hurdle said. Liriano will take the spot of Vance Worley, who will pitch out of the bullpen this weekend.

"Since [Worley] threw [Tuesday], I anticipate him throwing a bullpen [today]," Hurdle said. "Playing catch, his normal routine work, and then we'll see if he's available Saturday and Sunday to work out of the bullpen."

Liriano pitched well Monday in a rehabilitation outing, striking out eight without walking a batter in six scoreless innings, and will pitch Sunday on one extra day of rest. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 11 because of a left oblique strain.

The Pirates kept Charlie Morton as the starter for Saturday on regular rest. Morton's 18 starts leads the Pirates rotation and his 3.10 ERA leads all starters who began the year in the rotation.

"I believe that we've got Charlie in front of Vance right now," Hurdle said. "We still have an opportunity to talk through how we're going to break out the second half.

"I think everybody tries to seed their guys on who you want to optimize getting out of the chute quick, that you might feel can provide us with the biggest impact as we kick off the second half. To get everybody up and running, but obviously you're going to have to prioritize who you want to get up and running first."

Cole moved to DL

The Pirates officially placed Gerrit Cole on the 15-day disabled list because of soreness in his right latissimus dorsi, the large muscle in the middle of the back. They recalled right-hander Brandon Cumpton, who started Wednesday night against St. Louis, from Indianapolis.

Buried treasure

Jose Tabata has not played for Indianapolis since Thursday after taking two pitches, in two different games, off his left forearm, Hurdle said.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and Twitter @BrinkPG.

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