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Hurdle gives Marte night off from lineup for full rest

Hurdle gives Marte night off from lineup for full rest play video for Hurdle gives Marte night off from lineup for full rest

ST. LOUIS -- The last time Clint Hurdle wanted to give Starling Marte a game off, the Pirates manager ran into a problem. Rather, Jose Tabata ran into a wall, and Hurdle sent Marte out on the Great American Ball Park field to replace him, playing the rest of that April 16 game.

"So I don't think he got anything out of it," Hurdle said of Marte's interrupted respite. "And that was disappointing for me, because I did have another option [to replace Tabata in that game]. I could've run another guy out there. I should've stayed with the plan."

As it was, while finishing off that game, Marte had two at-bats and struck out once -- the problem that had prescribed the rest in the first place.

After that, the Bucs' erratic leadoff batter went 9-for-38 on the just-concluded eight-game homestand, drawing two walks and fanning 11 times.

Time for another time-out, reasoned Hurdle, who had at least two other good reasons for sticking Tabata into the leadoff spot and into left field on Friday night: Tabata went 3-for-5 last season against Friday's starter (Shelby Miller) and the Cardinals are due to give the ball on Saturday to a left-hander (Tyler Lyons).

Southpaws tend to be good for the confidence of Marte. He raked them at a .402 clip last season.

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. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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