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Marte nearing return, and could play center

Marte nearing return, and could play center

PITTSBURGH -- Starling Marte (jammed right middle finger) improved enough to be available off Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's bench on Friday and is close to resuming regular play -- and when he returns to the starting lineup, it could be in center field.

Andrew McCutchen will sit either before or after Monday's off-day in order to get two days of rest. Marte will then move in the middle, with Josh Harrison manning left field.

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McCutchen and Gregory Polanco, who hasn't missed an inning since his June 10 promotion, are both in line for a break.

But the first to be given a day off was Harrison, who was a healthy lineup omission Friday night for the first time since becoming a revolving regular on May 18 (he missed two games earlier this month with a twisted ankle).

"We're going to be on a little bit of a rotation," Hurdle said, "giving another outfielder or two a day or two off. So it's a rest day for [Harrison] now."

Travis Snider started in left field, with right-hander Jacob deGrom going for the Mets. Snider was 7-for-12 in his previous four starts.

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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