Andrew McCutchen’s Big Day Leads the Pittsburgh Pirates to Victory

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 30: Andrew McCutchen
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 30: Andrew McCutchen /

The Pittsburgh Pirates four game losing streak has come to an end

With a 7-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 51-54 this season. This victory also snapped the team’s four game losing streak. With the win, the Pirates finished their nine game West Coast trip with a disappointing 3-6 record.

Despite the victory on Sunday, the Pirates remain 5.5 games out of first place in the National League Central. This will make the next 20 hours before Monday’s 4 PM non-waiver trade deadline an interesting time for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After Clayton Richard retired Starling Marte and Josh Harrison to start the game, Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run to center field. McCutchen’s 20th blast of the season gave the Pirates an early 1-0 lead.

With the home run, McCutchen has now hit at least 20 home runs in seven consecutive seasons. The only player in Pirate history with more consecutive 20 home run seasons is Willie Stargell with 13.

The injury bug would bite Josh Harrison and the Pittsburgh Pirates in the top of the 3rd inning. While legging out a ground ball to reach on an error, Harrison came up limp. He remained in the game for another pitch, before being removed for Max Moroff. Hopefully, this will not be a serious issue for Harrison.

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The score would remain 1-0 until the top of the 5th inning. Andrew McCutchen and David Freese hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Then, Jose Osuna hit a two-run triple to make it 3-0 Pirates.

After Osuna’s triple, Jordy Mercer collected a base hit. This scored Osuna and made it 4-0 Pirates. This would be the score after 6 innings of play.

Gerrit Cole started for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon. The Pirate ace did exactly what pitchers like that are supposed to do when their teams have lost four games in a row, he put a foot down and was dominant.

In 7 innings of work on Sunday Cole held the Padres to just a single run. He allowed 5 hits, he walked a pair, and struck out 8. The lone run he allowed was a solo home run in the 7th inning.

Leading off the top of the 8th inning Andrew McCutchen crushed his second home run of the day and 21st of the season. This made the score 5-1 Pirates.

After Juan Nicasio pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 8th inning, the Pirates added to their lead in the top of the 9th inning. To start the inning, Josh Bell hit a pinch-hit home run. Bell’s 19th home run of the season made the score 6-1 Pirates.

Then with two outs, Andrew McCutchen hit a home run off the right field foul pole. McCutchen’s third home run of the day, and 22nd of the season, made the score 7-1 Pirates. McCutchen joins Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Braun as the only other players to ever hit three home runs in a game at spacious Petco Park.

Felipe Rivero entered the game in the bottom of the 9th inning just to get some work in. After allowing a bloop single to start the inning, he retired the next three Padre hitters to finish off a 7-1 Pirate victory.

Next: Austin Meadows Returns to Action

There is no denying this road trip was a disappointing one for the Pirates. After winning the first game of the trip the Bucs were 50-49 and just 2 games out of first place in the National League Central. However, after a 2-6 stretch, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now just 51-54 and 5.5 games out of first place.

Adding to the disappointment of trip is who the Pirates played. On the trip the Pirates lost a series to the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres, two teams that are a combined 36 games under .500 this season.

After a day off on Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates return to action on Tuesday night. At 7:05 on Tuesday night the Pirates will start a three game series at PNC Park against the Cincinnati Reds. Jameson Taillon will start for the Pirates, and the Reds plan to send Homer Bailey to the mound.