Walker back in starting lineup for Pirates

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Associated Press

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 15 at 2:01 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker returned to the starting lineup Saturday against the Chicago Cubs after missing more than two weeks because of lower back tightness.

Walker pinch-hit Friday and struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning in the Pirates' 7-4 loss. It was his first game since Aug. 26.

Walker is hitting .280 with 14 homers and 69 RBIs. He rejoins a struggling Pirates lineup that has lost seven straight and averaged just over three runs per game in their last 13. Pittsburgh has only won twice in that span.

Outfielder Travis Snider is also back in the starting lineup. He has gone hitless in four pinch-hit appearances since missing four games because of an injured hamstring.

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