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Marte's series of mental miscues irk Hurdle

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LOS ANGELES -- This has not been the sharpest week of Starling Marte's young career. The Bucs outfielder was guilty of glaring mental errors in three different games, and his attention lapses have caught manager Clint Hurdle's attention.

"It's a young mistake," Hurdle said of Marte's latest gaffe, getting picked off second base in Friday night's game as pitcher Francisco Liriano bunted through a pitch. "Young mistakes have to end after a certain period of time."

Marte is two months into his second full Major League season and does not have a track record for such slips:

• Last Saturday, mistakenly believing the batter had taken ball four, he walked into an out at second base.

• On Tuesday in Citi Field, he did not heed Andrew McCutchen's call for a fly hit to left-center and knocked the ball out of the center fielder's glove.

• And Friday night, Dodgers catcher Drew Butera easily nailed him after he wandered too far off the bag as Liriano tried to bunt.

"It's hard to swallow a guy getting picked off, when you have the inning set up just the way you wanted. Kind of wrecks your furniture," Hurdle said. "What you can't have happen, happened.

"It's a poor play. The onus is on the pitcher to get the bunt down, sure. With his speed, Marte easily gets to third," added Hurdle, dismissing any need for Marte to try to get an extra jump. "You see it happen a handful of times, and the runner is always in error. You can't be out there when [the batter] bunts through a ball."

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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