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Marte misses third straight game with rib issue

Marte misses third straight game with rib issue

Marte misses third straight game with rib issue

PITTSBURGH -- Starling Marte remained out of the Pirates' lineup on Saturday but remained on the team's active roster.

One of those situations will change after Sunday's game.

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Marte missed his third straight game with discomfort in his left ribcage area, and his absence was particularly felt this time, with the Pirates contending with Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Lefty-hitting Alex Presley was back in left and atop the batting order.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has no intention of starting a key National League Central series on Monday against the Reds a man short.

"We're trying to give [Marte] the same three-five days we've given other players who have gone down, then we have to do what's best for the ball club," Hurdle said. "We'll have to decide through the weekend, and post him [on the disabled list] if he can't play in Cincinnati.

"We're playing too many games right now short. I don't want to go into Cincinnati short."

Entering Saturday's game, left-handed hitters had 10 hits in 68 at-bats (.147) against Kershaw. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez and Presley were both in the lineup for the limited Pirates: Having Brandon Inge in right and Jordy Mercer at short removed alternatives at third base.

Hurdle briefly considered playing Russell Martin either in the outfield or at third and catching Michael McKenry, but couldn't afford having both of his catchers as well as the emergency No. 3 guy (Inge) simultaneously in the lineup.

"I did give it some thought, but decided against it," the manager said.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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