The Pirates woke up Monday morning seven games back of the division lead, but reinforcements are on the way.
Star outfielder Starling Marte is scheduled to rejoin the team Tuesday after serving an 80-game suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Marte, perhaps the team’s best all-around player, tested positive for Nandrolone, according to Major League Baseball, and was suspended on April 18. He has been playing with Triple-A Indianapolis for about two weeks on a rehabilitation assignment.
The Pirates have scuffled without Marte, who posted a .311/.362/.456 slash line in 2016 to go along with 47 stolen bases. He also went to the All-Star Game for the first time and won his second Gold Glove.
Marte moved to center field this season after playing left field for most of his major-league career. The move displaced franchise player and former MVP Andrew McCutchen, who moved back to his accustomed spot during Marte’s suspension.
Manager Clint Hurdle said Marte will go back to left field when he returns. The Pirates host the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.