Pirates 5, Phillies 4
Andrew McCutchen isn't much for postgame dog piles or pie-in-the-face celebrations anymore.
That's why the All-Star center fielder deftly ducked out of the way of a hastily made pie in the moments after his single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning rallied the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 on Sunday.
''I've had about enough of those,'' McCutchen said.
The Pirates can live with their franchise cornerstone being a killjoy if he continues to produce in the clutch.
McCutchen's third hit of the day - a smash off the center-field wall against reliever David Herndon (0-1) - let pinch-runner Josh Harrison trot home from third to give the Pirates their second walk-off win against the Phillies in less than 24 hours.
Pittsburgh won 2-1 in 10 innings Saturday night. This one was more impressive considering Philadelphia appeared to be in command after taking a 4-1 lead on Juan Pierre's two-run single in the seventh.
Yet the Pirates, much as they did during their stirring start to the 2011 season, kept chipping away. Pittsburgh scored twice in the seventh to get within one and tied it on rookie Matt Hague's RBI single off Antonio Bastardo in the eighth.
Joel Hanrahan (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for Pittsburgh, setting the stage for another dramatic victory over the five-time defending NL East champions.
''We had a good chance to win this series and we didn't,'' Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. ''It's disappointing but it's just three games into the season. The disappointing part for me is we got real good starting pitching but we only won once. You hate to waste that kind of pitching.''
Harrison entered and moved to third on Alex Presley's sacrifice. Herndon struck out Jose Tabata and worked the count to 3-2 before McCutchen drilled a fastball over the head of center fielder Shane Victorino to send the Pirates pouring out of the dugout.
''That's what we preached in spring training, to finish and go from there,'' McCutchen said.
Hunter Pence hit his first home run of the season and drove in two runs for Philadelphia, which appeared to be in control after Pierre's single off reliever Jared Hughes gave the Phillies a three-run lead.
Pittsburgh battled back in the bottom half as McGehee ripped a double to right off reliever Michael Stutes and Presley followed with a run-scoring single to get the Pirates within one.
Stutes and Tabata then got into a 10-pitch battle that Stutes narrowly escaped when Tabata's drive to left sailed just foul. Tabata later flied out to end the threat.
The Phillies wouldn't be so fortunate in the eighth.
McCutchen singled, Yamaico Navarro walked with one out and Hague - who made the team after hitting seven homers during spring training - looped a soft liner to left just over the outstretched glove of Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins to score McCutchen and tie the game.
''There's a lot of doubters out there,'' McCutchen said.
Pittsburgh starter James McDonald gave up two runs and four hits in six innings, walking two and striking out three while looking much better than he did during a miserable spring training in which he posted an 8.21 ERA. McDonald was better against Philadelphia's depleted lineup, his only real mistakes coming against Pence.
The right fielder gave Philadelphia the lead in the first, driving home Victorino with a double to left, and then clobbered a fastball from McDonald to the deepest part of PNC Park in the fourth. The drive easily cleared the 410-foot sign in left-center to put Philadelphia up 2-0.
It looked as though that might be enough for Vance Worley, who gave up Alvarez's homer but not much else in six innings, mirroring strong performances by Philadelphia aces Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to start the season.
Worley gave up five hits, walked one and struck out five on an economical 78 pitches but was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the seventh after the Phillies put two runners on. Laynce Nix struck out before Pierre collected his first National League hit since playing for the Dodgers in 2009.
The four runs were a major outburst for a team that scored just twice through the first 19 innings of the series. But Philadelphia left eight runners on base and struggled to get production out of a lineup missing injured All-Stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.
''We've got guys in the middle of the lineup who have proven they can hit in the big leagues,'' Manuel said. ''They will and we'll score runs.''
NOTES: The Pirates have won 10 of the 12 series between the teams at PNC Park. ... Philadelphia's Jim Thome made his first start at first base since 2007. He was perfect in the field and turned a 3-6-3 double play in the fourth. ... The Phillies host the Marlins in their home opener on Monday. Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79 ERA in 2011) will start for Philadelphia. Anibal Sanchez (8-9, 3.67 ERA in 2011) gets the nod for Miami. ... The Pirates begin a nine-game road trip in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Kevin Correia will start for Pittsburgh against reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw.