Chicago Cubs 2B Nico Hoerner still hampered by left hamstring issue

CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner is out of the starting lineup for the fourth consecutive day, increasing the possibility that he could need a stint on the injured list.

Hoerner was scratched for Tuesday's 7-0 loss at Atlanta because of left hamstring tightness. He went through a more normal pregame routine on Thursday, but manager Craig Counsell said his hamstring was still bothering him.

"He's going about his work today," Counsell said before Friday's game against Pittsburgh, "and we'll see how we're doing kind of daily. We're day to day with it, but still something there."

Hoerner, a Gold Glove winner last year, is batting .269 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 41 games this season.

"We'd like to avoid it," Counsell said when asked about placing Hoerner on the IL. "But obviously if it's still lingering, then it's on the table."

The Cubs also have been playing without All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson, who is on the 10-day IL with a right knee sprain. Swanson took live BP on Friday against Drew Smyly and Jordan Wicks.

Smyly is working his way back from a right hip impingement, and Wicks is on the IL with a left forearm strain.

Seiya Suzuki was out of the starting lineup for the matchup with the Pirates, but Counsell said it was a planned day off for the outfielder.

Also Friday, right-handed reliever Colten Brewer was placed on the 15-day IL with a low back strain. Right-hander Porter Hodge was recalled from Triple-A Iowa, putting him in the mix for his major league debut.