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Marte and Gonzalez exit after ugly collision

@adamdberry
April 20, 2019

PITTSBURGH – Pirates center fielder Starling Marte and shortstop Erik Gonzalez both exited Friday’s 4-1 win over the Giants at PNC Park following a collision in center field. Both players were chasing after a pop-up hit to shallow center by Yangervis Solarte. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle did not have an

PITTSBURGH – Pirates center fielder Starling Marte and shortstop Erik Gonzalez both exited Friday’s 4-1 win over the Giants at PNC Park following a collision in center field.

Both players were chasing after a pop-up hit to shallow center by Yangervis Solarte. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle did not have an update on either player, and neither was available for comment after the game. The Bucs should have more information available before Saturday’s 4:05 p.m. ET game.

Gonzalez, who has been involved in a handful of collisions in the field already this season, glided back into center field and smashed hard into Marte. His left shoulder bent awkwardly, while Marte appeared to take the brunt of the impact around his ribcage.

“It’s unfortunate. You hate to see your men laying on the field,” Hurdle said. “It was a yard sale out there. There’s hats. There’s gloves. That’s hard. We kind of got in a tough spot and ran into each other, both guys trying to make a play. That’s the hard part of it. We’ll see where we go from here, see how they’re doing.”

Marte and Gonzalez remained still on the grass for several minutes. Gonzalez stood up first and walked off the field and into the clubhouse with assistant athletic trainer Ben Potenziano. Marte -- who was struck in the helmet by a pitch in Detroit earlier this week -- laid for a few moments longer before sitting up and, with the help of his teammates and head athletic trainer Bryan Housand, standing up.

The Pirates called out a cart to drive Marte off the field, and veteran right fielder Melky Cabrera was seen encouraging Marte to take the ride. Marte sat up in the front seat of the cart and left the field.

“That’s dangerous. We need those two guys on the team,” catcher Francisco Cervelli said. “The most important thing is their health.”

When play resumed, JB Shuck moved from left to center field and rookie Jason Martin entered to play left. Jung Ho Kang shifted from third base to shortstop for the first time since 2015, and Colin Moran entered the game to play third.

The Pirates were already working with a four-man bench on Friday, and their depth was tested even more as Adam Frazier was reportedly sidelined by back spasms. That forced manager Clint Hurdle to call on starting pitcher Joe Musgrove as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. After the injuries, backup catcher Jacob Stallings was the only man left on the bench.

If the Pirates need reinforcements on Saturday, they won’t have many options. The only two position players on their 40-man roster who are not active in Pittsburgh or on the injured list are infielder Kevin Kramer, who was just optioned to Triple-A but could be recalled to replace an injured player, and shortstop prospect Cole Tucker.

Infielder Kevin Newman (lacerated finger) is eligible to return from the 10-day IL, while right fielder Gregory Polanco (shoulder) has played four rehab games with Triple-A Indianapolis. Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall began his rehab assignment on Friday, and left fielder Corey Dickerson has not played since April 3.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.