Starling Marte denies knowingly taking PEDs in first public statement since being suspended | Pirates/MLB

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates had no reason to be tired on Monday, with the All-Star break just three days distant.

But everyone can use an extra cup of coffee every now and then. 

Gregory Polanco — El Coffee for short — put up four hits, drove in the winning run, scored two more and threw out a runner at home plate from right field as the Pirates took the first game of their four-game series with the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, 4-2.

Polanco doubled in the fifth to score Jose Osuna to tie the game, doubled in the sixth to score Josh Bell to give the Pirates the lead and singled and scored an insurance run in the eighth inning.

Defensively, Polanco thew out Milwaukee catcher Manny Pina at home plate while the game was still tied at 2-2 in the sixth.

He’s now hitting .438 in the month of July after slumping and going through a series of minor injuries in the first half of the season.

Chad Kuhl set a new career high with seven strikeouts and Felipe Rivero closed it down for a four-out save.


Startling Marte spoke with the Pittsburgh media Monday for the first time since he received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

But Marte still isn’t saying much.

Marte’s test was positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone, which is typically injected, but he said he never injected himself with any substance and wouldn’t even know how to. He didn’t directly blame the result on a tainted supplement, but hinted at that, while also apologizing to the fans and his teammates for his carelessness.

“I do take supplements,” Marte said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. “However, all of the supplements I take are from the organization — whatever the trainers give me. When I am preparing to go into the off-season, I always try to take as…

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