ShareThis Page

Pirates notebook: Walker blames hotel beds for bad back

| Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, 3:06 p.m.

Neil Walker returned to the Pirates lineup Tuesday and blamed hotel beds for a bad back that bothered him last weekend.

“I just needed a little rest,” he said. “I had some tightness that just needed to calm down. Fortunately, the off day came at a good time. I probably could have played on Sunday, but we didn't want to push it with having (Monday) off.”

The second baseman said the pain was nothing like the lower-back problems that kept him out of 27 of the final 35 games in 2012. His hips were out of alignment, he said, and after he was evened up, it helped relieve the pressure he was feeling in his back.

“We were on the road for 10 days, and sleeping in hotel beds is never a lot of fun,” he said. “Fortunately, I'm back to where I was a few days ago.”

Walker left Tuesday's game in the eighth inning with back tightness.

“He came to us and said his back tightened up,” manager Clint Hurdle said.

Marte returns from 7-day DL; Alvarez goes on bereavement

The Pirates reinstated Starling Marte from the seven-day concussion disabled list after a three-game rehab assignment. To make room on the active roster, third baseman Pedro Alvarez was placed on the bereavement list.

Marte played center field in place of the injured Andrew McCutchen for the opener against the Miami Marlins. Jayson Nix started at third base.

“He played the outfield and had one hit in 12 at-bats,” Hurdle said of Marte's rehab with Triple-A Indianapolis. “No repercussions of any of the effects he was feeling. He seems to be in a good place physically. He got to see some pitches and go out and play defense.”

Same view, different feel

Garrett Jones made the drive from the Pittsburgh airport to Downtown countless times as a Pirate, but doing it as a member of the Marlins was a bit different, he said.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” said Jones, who signed with the Marlins in the offseason. “It's cool to remember what we did last year and have those memories come back. The stadium rocking and to be a part of that, it was something special that I'll never forget.”

Jones is batting .253 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs this year and had a season-long eight-game hitting streak snapped Friday. He said he was looking forward to stepping onto the field at PNC Park.

“It'll be good to get out there with that crowd I used to see all the time,” said Jones, who received a warm reception before his first at-bat, a single to left field. “Pittsburgh's always been a great atmosphere to play baseball.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.