Brewers at Pirates
Starling Marte makes his long-awaited return to the lineup Tuesday night for the Pittsburgh Pirates after serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Nandrolone. Marte, suspended on April 18, will be in left field when the Pirates host the Milwaukee Brewers in the second of their four-game series.
"Tomorrow when I put on that uniform, I want to represent this team," Marte told reporters Monday. "I don't want to be a distraction anymore. I want to honor and respect this organization the way it deserves." Fellow Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco seized the limelight in the series opener by going 4-for-4 and throwing a runner out at the plate as Pittsburgh won for the eighth time in 10 games to pull within six of first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central. The Brewers, who have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since June 27-28, are atop the division despite a minimal contribution from Junior Guerra, who stumbled through an injury-plagued first half of the season. Guerra goes for his second victory of the season - and first since May 31 - when he opposes Pirates nine-game winner Ivan Nova.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), AT&T SportsNet-Pittsburgh
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Júnior Guerra (1-3, 4.78 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Ivan Nova (9-6, 3.21)
Guerra had a third straight abbreviated start last time out when he took a comebacker off the shin and was knocked out of the game after 3 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees. The Venezuela native pitched four innings in each of his previous two turns, allowing a combined 12 runs and 16 hits in a pair of losses. Guerra faced the Pirates on June 21, giving up three runs and seven hits along with a season-high five walks.
Nova improved to 4-2 over his last six starts after limiting the Chicago Cubs to two runs on three hits over 6 2/3 innings on July 8, although he gave up a pair of homers and has surrendered 10 in his last seven outings. The 30-year-old was touched for four runs and a season-worst 11 hits over seven innings in a loss at Milwaukee on June 22. Travis Shaw has tormented Nova, going 7-for-10 with two homers and five RBIs.
1. Brewers C Stephen Vogt will have an MRI exam on his left knee after exiting Monday's game following a collision at home plate.
2. Marte batted .390 against Milwaukee during his All-Star season in 2016.
3. Brewers 1B Eric Thames has multiple hits in three of his last five games.