Pirates activate Jose Tabata from DL

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates activated left fielder Jose Tabata from the disabled list on Tuesday and optioned slumping third baseman Pedro Alvarez to Triple-A Indianapolis for the second time this season.

Tabata had been out since June 27 with a strained left quadriceps. He played in 13 minor-league rehab games with Class A Bradenton and Indianapolis, hitting a combined .293 with six doubles.

Tabata was in the lineup Tuesday night and batting leadoff against the St. Louis Cardinals. Tabata was hitting .265 with three home runs, 15 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 71 games when he was hurt in a game against the Boston Red Sox as he beat out an infield single.

"I'm excited to be back and a little nervous, too," Tabata said. "It's been a long time. It kind of feels like Opening Day again."

Alvarez has hit .196 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 56 games in two stints with the Pirates. He won the National League rookie of the month award last September.

"We still believe in Pedro and that he will be a big part of what we're doing here," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I told him to go down, embrace it as a challenge and swing the bat with bad intentions."