McCutchen drives Pittsburgh Pirates to 7-4 win over Giants


4. 40. 7. 4. Final

Andrew McCutchen notched four hits and fell a home run short of the cycle as the Pittsburgh Pirates took the second straight game from the San Francisco Giants 7-4 on Tuesday night. McCutchen raised his average to .292 and added two RBIs as the offense delivered in a big way to help the Pirates take the series from the Giants.

A.J. Burnett started for the Pirates and earned his sixth straight win as he has gotten more run support this season than he traditionally has in the past with this team. Burnett wasn’t at his best, as he lasted only five innings and gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks, including a two-run home run that tied the game at four. But his counterpart in Chris Heston unraveled as the game moved forward and pitched slightly worse than Burnett, giving up five runs over 3.2 innings. The Pirates would score runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings and the bullpen wouldn’t allow a run en route to a 7-4 Pirate victory.

The Giants, like many teams seem to do against the Pirates, scored first when Buster Posey doubled to right, plating two and putting the Giants up 2-0 in the first inning. But the Pirates would answer in similar fashion to the night before, scoring four runs in the third, in part thanks to a two-run Pedro Alvarez double to right, putting the Pirates up 4-2. Brandon Crawford continues to make a case for the all-star game as he delivered a two-run 400+ foot home run to left, tying the game at four in the Giants’ half of the third. The Pirates would plate a run in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, taking a 7-4 advantage and didn’t give up a run the rest of the way. Arquimedes Caminero, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon combined to pitch four innings of three-hit, no-run ball, and Melancon earned his 15th save of the season as he closed the door on the Giants.

What Stood Out

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Andrew McCutchen stood out in the big way Tuesday night. After a poor month of April, all memory of that early season slow start has been erased with his scorching month of May and start to June. McCutchen started 4-4 and ended the night 4-5 with two singles, a double, a triple, and two RBIs and fell a home run short of the cycle. He seemed to strike early in the count, averaging just three pitches an at-bat. His average is now up to .292 on the season.

Alvarez, Neil Walker, and Josh Harrison each had two hits on the night. Walker is trying to bust out of a recent slump. Starling Marte, on the other hand, continues to slump as he went 0-4 with two strikeouts on the night. His average is now down to .254 on the season.

What’s Next

The Pittsburgh Pirates (28-24) look to sweep the San Francisco Giants (30-24) as the teams meet for the final game of a three-game set Wednesday afternoon. Francisco Liriano (2-4, 3.47 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates as his ERA continues to drop as of late. He’ll face veteran Tim Hudson (3-4, 4.62 ERA) in perhaps Hudson’s final season in the majors. First pitch is scheduled for 3:45 PM EST at AT&T Park.

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