Pirates notebook: Starling Marte returns; Pedro Alvarez inactive

The Pirates announced Tuesday that outfielder Starling Marte has been reinstated to the active roster after a rehab stint with Class AAA Indianapolis.

The Pirates placed third baseman Pedro Alvarez on the bereavement list to make room for Marte, who returned to the lineup in the leadoff spot Tuesday, playing center field for the injured Andrew McCutchen. Marte had been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list July 23 after being hit in the head with a pitch July 18 against the Colorado Rockies. He last played for the Pirates July 21.

In three games in Indianapolis, Marte batted 12 times and had one hit. He said in Spanish through a translator that he felt fine.

"They gave me a routine, and I worked at it every day," Marte said. "I focused on getting better every day and I return here to do the same. I feel good. I feel strong."

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Alvarez's situation was personal and he preferred not to share details, but he did say that Alvarez had left town. Alvarez's placement on the bereavement list means he will be away from the team for a minimum of three days.

The move comes two days after Alvarez made another error at third base, his 24th. He led the majors with 27 last year. His 24 are five more than any other major league player.

Hurdle said there had been no talk of moving Alvarez to first base before his placement on the bereavement list.

"There's a lot of speculation, I don't get caught up in that," Hurdle said. "My job is to put out a lineup that I think gives us the best chance to win every night. Sometimes, people agree with that; sometimes, they don't.

"With each and every individual player that's got challenges to meet, we try to give them patience."

Hurdle also said the Pirates are actively trying to help Alvarez regain his form in the field and at the plate. Alvarez is batting .234 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs in 104 games.

Cole makes rehab start

Gerrit Cole made his second rehab start Tuesday in Indianapolis, pitching 41/3 innings of a 9-4 loss to Toledo. He made a previous rehab start July 28, throwing five shutout innings. Cole gave up 10 hits and five runs, while throwing 74 pitches.

Cole was placed on the disabled list July 7 with a sore right latissimus dorsi muscle in his back.

"It's all been mechanical and him trying to regain his form," Hurdle said. "[There's] no urgency because we want him to come back and be aggressive and we want him just making pitches."

Walker returns to lineup

After missing two games against the Arizona Diamondbacks because of tightness in his back, second baseman Neil Walker returned to the lineup Tuesday.

"I honestly think it was some of the beds on the road, as crazy as that might sound, it got me thrown off," Walker said. "Fortunately, I'm back to the way I felt a few days ago."

Trenise Ferreira contributed to this report. Sean Hammond: shammond@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1466 or Twitter @sean_hammond.


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