Jonathan Sanchez ejected after throwing at Allen Craig’s head

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Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez’s outing didn’t last long. Cardinals hitters Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back solo home runs, and Matt Holliday followed up with a single on a line drive to center. Sanchez, who posted an 8.07 ERA in 15 starts last year, entered the night with an 11.12 ERA in his first three starts. Perhaps frustrated with his seemingly endless struggling, Sanchez appeared to intentionally throw a fastball at Allen Craig’s head.

Home plate umpire Tim Timmons immediately ejected Sanchez from the game. Manager Clint Hurdle came out to protest the decision, ostensibly because Sanchez did not first receive a warning, and was ejected himself after shouting a few lascivious words.

Jeanmar Gomez came in to relieve Sanchez and put a halt to the Cardinal offense.

Click here for a .gif of the Sanchez pitch and ejection.

Pirates activate Starling Marte

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.

Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.