The Times West Virginian

Pirates

June 13, 2014

McCutchen stays hot; Pirates top Cubs, 4-0

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has coined a phrase for where star center fielder Andrew McCutchen is at the moment.

“(He’s) McHot,” Hurdle said.

For once, it might be an understatement.

The reigning National League MVP had two doubles and two RBIs to lift the Pirates to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night. McCutchen is batting .428 (18 of 42) this month, with 15 of his hits going for extra bases.

“I’m seeing the ball and I get a pitch to hit and I hit it and it’s finding the gaps and that’s basically what’s happening right now for me,” said McCutchen, a career .324 hitter in June. “Things are just working out right now and I want to continue to stay where I’m at.”

Russell Martin also doubled twice for the Pirates and rookie Gregory Polanco got a hit in the third straight game since his call-up. Edinson Volquez (4-5) pitched seven effective innings to win for the third time in his last five starts.

Volquez struck out five and walked two while outpitching Chicago ace Jeff Samardzija (2-6). It helped the Cubs could do little when given the chance. Chicago went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

“He was commanding the zone like he does when he is in a good place and we were on the other side of it,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of Volquez.

McCutchen broke it open with a two-run double in the fifth. The Pirates had seven doubles in all, their highest total since a win over Houston in July 2010.

“The next team that comes in here is probably better off pitching around him and letting him go to first base,” Samardzija said.

Luis Valbuena had two doubles for the Cubs, who went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position to fall for the fourth time in five games. The Cubs have scored two runs or fewer in nine of Samardzija’s 14 starts.

Chicago’s troubles weren’t just on offense on a night the worst road team in baseball fell to 0-9-3 in series played away from Wrigley Field this year. Samardzija struggled against a team that seems to be rounding into form behind its star center fielder.

McCutchen extended his hitting streak to eight straight by doubling with one out in the fourth before coming around to score when Martin smacked a ball off the wall in right field. Ike Davis scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Jordy Mercer to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Pittsburgh made it 4-0 in the fifth when Polanco — batting leadoff for the first time — and Starling Marte hit consecutive singles followed by drive by McCutchen to the notch in left-center. McCutchen slid into the third on the play before making a rare mental miscue when he stepped off the base, allowing him to get tagged out in the process.

“I guess that’s why they say stay humble in this game, because crazy stuff like that will happen,” McCutchen said. “Popping up, getting all excited and next thing you know I’m floating all over the bag and his glove is right there so that’s why you stay humble.”

It hardly mattered. The Cubs were too busy wasting chances to get to Volquez, who has suddenly emerged as a constant on Pittsburgh’s injury muddled pitching staff.  After a bumpy patch in early May, Volquez is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his last five starts.

NOTES: The Pirates called up INF Michael Martinez from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game and optioned RHP Casey Sandler back to Indianapolis. ... Chicago CF Emilio Bonifacio left in the first inning with a rib injury and did not return. ... Chicago signed free agent C Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal Thursday. Torrealba, who played for Colorado last season, will report to Chicago’s training complex in Mesa, Arizona. ... The Pirates begin a three-game set in Miami on Friday night against the Marlins. Jeff Locke (0-1) starts for Pittsburgh against Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.27). ... The Cubs continue a 10-game road trip on Friday in Philadelphia. Jake Arrieta (1-1, 2.50) starts for the Cubs against Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.35).

———

Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

 

1
Text Only
Pirates
  • Pirates’ gaffe on bases proves costly

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle, what we watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.
    A timely, heads-up glance by reliever Jean Machi helped San Francisco take advantage of a gaffe on the bases by Pittsburgh, and the Giants tagged out of two runners who wandered away on the same play grab momentum and end a six-game losing streak.

    July 31, 2014

  • Harrison’s 4 hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

  • Pirates fall victim to Rockies, 8-1

    Nolan Arenado bounced back from a benching with three hits, including a home run, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Saturday night.
    Tyler Matzek pitched three-hit ball over seven scoreless innings. Drew Stubbs and Corey Dickerson also homered for the Rockies, who have won three straight.

    July 27, 2014

  • Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers, 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
    Harrison’s two-run double down the left field line capped a four-run outburst in the first against Haren (8-8).

    July 24, 2014

  • Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers, 6-1

    osh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 23, 2014

  • Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pittsbugh Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

    July 20, 2014

  • Pirates rally by Rockies in 11

    Jordy Mercer doubled home Neil Walker with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
    Walker led off the inning with a single against Colorado’s Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored one batter later when Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

    July 20, 2014

  • Pirates rally late, top Rockies, 4-2

    Travis Snider’s pinch-hit double in the eighth scored Neil Walker to spark the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
    Walker trotted home when Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t track down Snider’s sinking line drive off reliever Matt Belisle (2-5). All-Star Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly one batter later.

    July 19, 2014

  • Resilient Pirates looking for post All-Star surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day — if still heated — pennant race.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeter, Trout lead AL over NL 5-3 in All-Star game

    Derek Jeter soaked in the adulation from fans and players during one more night on baseball’s national stage, set the tone for the American League with a pregame speech and then delivered two final All-Star hits.
    Mike Trout, perhaps the top candidate to succeed the 40-year-old Yankees captain as the face of the game, seemed ready to assume the role with a tiebreaking triple and later a go-ahead double that earned him MVP honors.

    July 16, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads