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Marte happy to be in select company


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Starling Marte - MATT SUNDAY ./ DKPS

CHICAGO -- Starling Marte is proud of being what is now a club of two.

A day after becoming just the second player in Pirates history to have 100 home runs and 200 stolen bases for the franchise, Marte talked about joining Barry Bonds.

“It feels good,” he said Sunday before the Pirates played the Cubs in the finale of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. “To recognize Barry Bonds and the figure that he was, and to be recognized with someone like him feels great.”

Marte reached 100 homers Saturday when he hit his second homer of the game in the eighth inning of the Pirates’ 10-4 loss. The drive came off left-handed reliever Randy Rosario. Marte also has 227 stolen bases in his eight-year career.

Bonds hit 176 homers and stole 351 bases during his seven seasons with the Pirates from 1986-92. He finished his 22-year career with a major-league record 762 home runs and 514 stolen bases.

Marte is having a solid season, hitting .281/.322/.488 with 15 homers and 13 steals in 78 games. Marte has had multiple hits in five of his last 10 games, going 15 for 41 (.366) with two doubles, a triple and three home runs.

Marte gives credit to first-year hitting coaches Rick Eckstein and Jacob Cruz, calling them “fabulous.”

“More than anything, it’s just being able to submit to the coaching staff and everything they’re pouring into me is what has helped a lot with my swing and the adjustments I need to make to my swing,” Marte said. “Even when I miss pitches or have tough at-bats I can go back to the dugout and ask them what they’ve got and talk what adjustments are necessary for the next at-bat. The benefits have been great and the adjustments have helped me so much.”

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