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Game Thread: Starling Marte dropped to sixth in batting order

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Starling Marte has been moved to the No. 6 spot, where Andrew McCutchen regained his form and the Pirates had been incubating Gregory Polanco, for tonight’s 8:05 game at Wrigley Field. It’s unclear whether this shift downward is being made in a similar attempt to get the struggling Marte going, or if it’s simply due to his particularly pronounced reverse platoon split this season (.311 AVG, 4 HR vs. right-handed pitchers; .138, 0 HR vs. lefties).

It’s a goofy, righty-heavy lineup overall, with Sean Rodriguez and Jose Osuna in the 1 and 2 spots.

Marte is slashing .263/.320/.359 with four home runs in 50 games around an 80-game PED suspension. He did go 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs (out of the leadoff spot) on Sunday in Cincinnati.

Last time out, Trevor Williams dueled Rich Hill admirably, allowing the Pirates to win on one hit. He faces Mike Montgomery, who has been shifted back and forth from the bullpen as the Cubs’ injuries have dictated.

The lineups:

Pirates

  1. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
  2. Jose Osuna, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Josh Bell, 1B
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. Starling Marte, LF
  7. Jordy Mercer, SS
  8. Chris Stewart, C
  9. Trevor Williams, P

— — —

Cubs

  1. Jon Jay, CF
  2. Tommy La Stella, 2B
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Ian Happ, LF
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Jason Heyward, RF
  8. Javier Baez, SS
  9. Mike Montgomery, P