Pirates staying cautious with Alvarez's knee

Pirates staying cautious with Alvarez's knee

DENVER -- Thursday's off-day didn't do Pedro Alvarez's ailing left knee enough good for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle to give his third baseman the start Friday. But after increasing his activity level in the pregame warmups, Hurdle elected to bring Alvarez in in the seventh for his first action since tweaking his knee Tuesday.

Alvarez struck out in that plate appearance, but drew a walk in his second chance of the night. Alvarez also let a manageable ground ball by him at third that continued the bleeding in the Rockies seven-run, seventh inning.

Before the Pirates' 8-1 loss Friday, Alvarez hit in the cages and shagged balls in early batting practice, but manager Clint Hurdle didn't want to rush things. Alvarez also got the day off Wednesday after the injury occurred running out of the box on a double in the fourth inning of the previous game.

Alvarez was replaced by Josh Harrison Tuesday and the Pirates' utilityman started again in his place on Wednesday. On Friday night, Brent Morel got the start at third and finished 0-for-1 with a walk two days after he was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to take the place of outfielder Starling Marte (concussion).

Alvarez is hitting .238 (81-for-340) with 15 home runs and 47 RBIs in 97 games this season. Alvarez also leads the Majors in errors at 22.

Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.