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7/27/2014 4:49 P.M. ET

Pirates get Alvarez back in lineup in finale

DENVER -- As of Saturday, Clint Hurdle seemed content with allowing Pedro Alvarez to rest his left knee injury through the weekend, especially with a third straight left-hander on the mound Sunday.

That all changed quickly once the Pirates were unable to produce a run until the ninth inning for the second straight night on Saturday.

Hurdle had Alvarez batting seventh and playing third for the series finale against the Rockies. It will be his first start since he tweaking his knee out of the box on a hit in Tuesday's 12-7 victory over the Dodgers.

"We're seeing if we can find a different way to provide some offense here in this ballpark," Hurdle said. "We've scored two runs in eighteen innings."

Hurdle indicated that Alvarez wasn't where he wanted to be health-wise Saturday despite him pinch-hitting and remaining in the game to play the field for the final two innings of Friday's 8-1 loss to the Rockies.

But with catcher Russell Martin getting the day off with a short turnaround after a night game, Hurdle felt his lineup could use some pop in his place.

"With Martin being out, we're looking for a different way to make up some offense by getting [Alvarez] back in and seeing if he can provide a spark for us," Hurdle said.

Alvarez is batting .238 (81-for-340) through 98 games but is second on the team in home runs (15) and third in RBIs (47) and runs scored (41).

Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.