Marte exits during return with back tightness

Marte exits during return with back tightness

MILWAUKEE -- Making his first start since Sept. 5, Pirates outfielder Starling Marte exited Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Brewers with back tightness in the third inning.

Marte missed 15 consecutive games with back spasms before making his return to the lineup on Thursday, batting second. After fouling off a pitch from starter Chase Anderson, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk visited with Marte outside the batter's box before he left the game.

"If you saw the game, you saw the swings in the middle of the at-bat. Those swings just aren't going to play," Hurdle said.

Matt Joyce came into the game to replace Marte for the Pirates, who also scratched shortstop Jordy Mercer with right forearm tightness before the game.

Marte is hitting .311 with nine homers and 47 stolen bases this season.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.