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Starling Marte homers in 1st AB in 5-3 Win over Astros

Final: Pirates 5, Astros 3

WP: A.J. Burnett (12-3, 3.52 ERA)
LP: Dallas Keuchel (1-3, 4.63 ERA)
SV: Joel Hanrahan (30, 2.23 ERA)

Starling Marte‘s career couldn’t have started off any better. Making his Major League debut, leading off in left field, Marte homered to left center field on the very first pitch he ever saw in the big leagues.

That was just the beginning of what would become a two-inning barrage by the Bucs. Garrett Jones hit a two-run homer later in the first inning and Clint Barmes hit a two-run shot in the second. That would be all the Pirates would score, but it was more than enough as A.J. Burnett rolled through the Astros’ lineup, picking up his 12th win of the season.

The Astros hit two homers off Burnett in the eighth, and he exited with only those two runs given up over 7 1/3 innings. Brad Lincoln got the final two outs of the frame before giving way to Joel Hanrahan, who recorded his 30th save. Hanrahan did give up a run on a single, a walk, and two wild pitches, however.

Marte’s homer on the first pitch he saw was the first time a Pirate has accomplished that feat since Walter Mueller did the same in 1922. Marte also singled in his third at-bat of the game to finish up the night 2 for 4.

It was announced earlier in the day that Wandy Rodriguez will start for the Pirates on Saturday against his former team. Kevin Correia will head to the Pirates bullpen. I would also expect that the Pirates will try to move Correia in the coming days.

Gorkys Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A before the start of the game to officially make room for Marte.

 
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Game 98 Live Chat: Pirates vs Astros

Published on July 26, 2012 by in Live Blogs

 
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Wednesday Trade Rumors: Chase Headley has “Strong Probability” of Being Dealt

Published on July 25, 2012 by in Features, Rumors

The Pirates started off their trade season with acquiring Wandy Rodriguez yesterday, but they probably aren’t done.

- Jon Heyman reports that the market for Chase Headley is “extremely strong” and he is likely to be dealt in the next week. As many as ten teams have inquired on the 28-year old, with the Pirates being one of the more aggressive ones. Joel Sherman of the NY Post says that there are teams willing to part with high-end prospects for Headley.

- Both the Pirates and Reds have been scouting the Red Sox outfielders as Ryan Kalish, Ryan Sweeney, and Cody Ross have all drawn interest, reports Gordon Edes from ESPNBoston.com.

- Jayson Stark says that the Pirates “are sending signals” that they are willing to trade either Kevin Correia or Jeff Karstens now that Wandy Rodriguez has been acquired.

- Talks between the Pirates and Shane Victorino stalled when Philadelphia asked for Brad Lincoln in return, tweets Rob Biertempfel. Apparently the Pirates offered Jared Hughes and a “minor leaguer.” I wouldn’t give up Lincoln for Victorino, either.

 
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Evan Meek optioned to Triple-A

The Pirates announced today that Evan Meek has been optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis after a brief stint that covered two appearances and 1 1/3 innings in which he gave up one hit and three walks.

Meek’s season has been a huge disappointment this season, but thanks to the emergence of Jason Grilli, he hasn’t been missed all that much.

He’s been better in Triple-A, posting a 2.21 ERA, but has still struggled with his command, shown by his 30:23 K:BB rate in 36 2/3 innings.

The Pirates will still have to make one more move to finish making room for newly promoted Starling Marte and newly acquired Wandy Rodriguez. If I had to make a guess, I would say it would be Gorkys Hernandez heading back to Indianapolis, but we probably won’t find out until tomorrow.

 
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Starling Marte promoted from Triple-A

 

Finally!

It’s been a while, but a lot of people have been clamoring for the Pirates to call up their #1 hitting prospect, Starling Marte after he has shown that he has fully adjusted to Triple-A pitching over the past couple of months.

The reigning Eastern League batting champion has recalled and will join the Pirates in Houston. He is hitting .286/.347/.500 with 12 home runs for Indianapolis. Outside of a sluggish May where he posted just a .656 OPS, he has been solid-to-great over the rest of the year. In April, his first month at the level, he had an .833 OPS. In June, he tore things up with a .944 OPS and he has kept it up with a .924 OPS in July.

Marte brings the combination of speed, hitting ability, and a little bit of pop to go along with an exceptional glove and arm. He’s truly a five-tool player.

I would have to imagine that Marte will take over the left field spot for good from this point on. The only thing I’ll add is that I’ve seen Marte play a couple of times live and in-person, and you should all be pretty excited. He’s a fun player to watch.

 
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Game 97 Live Chat: Pirates vs Cubs

Published on July 25, 2012 by in Live Blogs

 
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