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Martin returns behind plate after four-day hiatus

NEW YORK -- Catcher Russell Martin was back in the starting lineup Thursday after missing the Pirates' previous two games with stiffness in his neck. Martin last caught on Saturday against the Nationals. Manager Clint Hurdle gave him Sunday off behind the plate -- Martin started at third base for the second time this season -- and the Pirates were off Monday.

Martin did not play either of the Pirates' two games against the Mariners this week.

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Hurdle said Martin may play some right field when needed.

Martin entered Thursday's game against the Mets with six home runs, the most of the team. His next home run will be the 100th of his career.

Marty Noble is a reporter for

Pittsburgh Pirates, Russell Martin, Charlie Morton, Neil Walker, Duke Welker