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Arenado benched after not hustling to first

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DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado began a frustrated, head-down jog out after he bounced hard to Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton in the bottom of the fourth Friday night. But by the time he returned to the bench, after his lack of haste cost the team a baserunner, manager Walt Weiss made it clear frustration is no excuse to not hustle.

Weiss sent Charlie Culberson to play third in the top of the fifth. Arenado had to watch as the Rockies raced to an 8-1 victory at Coors Field.

Morton did not field Arenado's bouncer cleanly. But because of the batsman's non-hustling start, Morton's throw beat Arenado at first on a close play.

"We've talked a lot about playing the game hard and playing the game right, and how important that is," Weiss said. "Especially when you've been getting your [butt] kicked for a while, it's even more important. It's imperative. So I just felt like Nolan didn't meet that standard at that point.

"Now, Nolan's a great kid. He's a great player. That's how I saw it."

Weiss said after the game he had not talked with Arenado, who was 0-for-2 at the time of the benching and saw his hit streak end at five games.

Arenado won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award last season as a rookie -- the first National League rookie third baseman and second overall at his position to win the award -- and set a club record with a 28-game hit streak earlier this year. But Arenado also missed 37 games in May and June with a fractured left middle finger, and has just recently been regaining his timing at the plate.

Arenado was not available after the game, but apologized through a club official and said he would address the incident Saturday.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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