Matt Kemp unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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There’s no firm timetable yet for Matt Kemp’s return from a hamstring strain that he aggravated just two games after coming off the disabled list, but manager Don Mattingly admitted yesterday that the center fielder is unlikely to play before the All-Star break.

That also means Kemp won’t play in the All-Star game, although being on the DL wouldn’t preclude him from being selected to the National League team.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Kemp will likely be asked to spend a week or so rehabbing in the minors before being activated and even that assignment isn’t guaranteed to start before the break on July 10.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.