If there’s a single baseball connoisseur left unaware of the ability of Andrew McCutchen, he put on a display Sunday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of a prime-time national audience. McCutchen doubled twice, homered and scored three runs off Dodgers starter Zack Greinke to lead the Pirates to a 5-3 win and an unexpected series win against the Dodgers. He also ran a mile to track a fly ball to shallow center field and make a sliding catch for an out in the seventh inning. “He has a knack for slowing it down, more often than not he does that,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. “To do it at this level, big game, big-time pitcher, four pitches, two doubles and a homer … pretty impressive.” A split would have been considered a strong series for the Pirates, but they took three of four on the back of two strong starts by Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano Thursday and Friday, and followed it Sunday with a solid outing by Edinson Volquez. The Pirates are 26-30, and 4-3 with two legs of this 10-game road trip completed. They hadn’t won three games at Dodger Stadium since 2000. McCutchen had a .190 average against Greinke coming in, but it was a small sample size. “It was just being ready to hit,” said McCutchen. “I have been getting pitches to hit, but I’ve been a little late probably because my timing has been on off-speed pitches. I had to get my timing back to fastballs and did that [Sunday],” said McCutchen. “It’s just good that we’re able to get three out of four against a really good team here in L.A. As you know we haven’t done that in a long time.” Pedro Alvarez had two key RBI singles, driving in McCutchen and Ike Davis in the first inning, and McCutchen again in the sixth with a line drive to center field that gave the Pirates a 4-2 lead. Josh Harrison extended the lead to 5-2 with a home run to right-center field off reliever Chris Perez to continue to pound his case to stay atop the lineup. Jason Grilli allowed a run on two walks and a single in the ninth inning, but earned the save. The Pirates got on board first when Alvarez beat a shift with the bases loaded in the first inning, hitting a grounder to left-center field to drive in McCutchen and Davis. McCutchen stroked a two-out double to get the rally started and Greinke walked Davis and Russell Martin to load the bases.
McCutchen leads Pirates to 5-3 win to take series against Dodgers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Jun 2