The Pirates are willing to err on the side of caution, when it comes to promoting OF Starling Marte from Triple-A Indy to the majors. “We’re well aware of what Starling is doing down there,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “But with young players, when you’re aggressive about bringing them up, it can present challenges a year or two down the line. You don’t want (Marte) to stuggle the way Pedro (Alvarez) did, the way Alex (Presley) did, the way Jose (Tabata) did.” All three of those players have been sent back to the minors recently after struggling in the big leagues.
»»» Hurdle said Tabata took the news well late last night that he was on his way down to Indy. “We’ve got to find a way to help him re-ignite and have consistent at-bats, make consistent plays. He wasn’t playing to his expectations. To get him out of this enviromnent can do some good.” Hurdle bristled at the notion that Tabata has become a lazy player. “He’s not lazy. There is just some confusion … sometimes, he wouldn’t get a good first move (in the outfield), so he’d back off.” Hurdle said going to Indy can help Tabata silence the “noise in his head” and simply play ball.
Game 80: Astros @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET
Astros (32-48): 1. Jordan Schafer cf, 2. Jose Altuve 2b, 3. Jed Lowrie ss, 4. Carlos Lee 1b, 5. Scott Moore 3b, 6. J.D. Martinez lf, 7. Brian Bogusevic rf, 8. Chris Snyder c, 9. Lucas Harrell rhp (7-6, 4.33)
Pirates (43-36): 1. Alex Presley cf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones rf, 5. Casey McGehee 1b, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Rod Barajas c, 8. Clint Barmes ss, 9. A.J. Burnett rhp (9-2, 3.31)