Pirates’ Starling Marte sits for 2nd game in a row, status uncertain
Starling Marte was not in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting lineup Thursday night against the Miami Marlins for the second consecutive game, and his absence might be injury-related.
It was unclear if he would play in the weekend series that begins Friday at PNC Park with the National League Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals.
“Giving him some time down,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “I’m waiting to hear from the trainers.”
Marte is nearing the end of his best season in the majors.
He has posted career highs in OPS (.841) and home runs (23) while hitting .293. His 79 RBIs rank second on the team to Josh Bell’s 111.
Bryan Reynolds has played center field in Marte’s absence, giving him 11 appearances there this season. He made two diving catches Wednesday night.
Reynolds, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning Thursday, entered the game second in the National League in batting average to the Washington Nationals’ Anthony Rendon (.338/.332).
Relief pitcher Kyle Crick took an unenviable streak into the game. He has allowed home runs in each of his past three games.
“Probably as much pitch execution as anything,” Hurdle said. “Spin rate on the slider is elite, but the location hasn’t been what it’s been in the past.”
Crick has walked a career-high 34 batters in 48 innings.
Another September call-up
The Pirates added another arm to the bullpen when Triple-A pitcher Alex McRae rejoined the team.
He’s 0-3 with a 9.98 ERA in six games and 15 1/3 innings with the Pirates this season.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .