McCutchen leads Pirates over Indians
Andrew McCutchen appears comfortable being saddled with the savior tag for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
McCutchen played a part in all of Pittsburgh's runs Thursday night, including a game-ending bloop single to score Jack Wilson and give the Pirates a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
"It was kind of like almost predestined, the way you kind of looked at it," McCutchen said. "Every time I came up to the bat, it was a key situation. I was able to come through."
McCutchen started the rally from down 2-0 against reigning AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee with a double - later scoring - in the sixth. The top prospect recalled when the Pirates traded All-star Nate McLouth on June 4 drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh to tie the game and then won it in the ninth.
The Pirates have taken two straight from the Indians after snapping a five-game losing streak.
McCutchen, whose 13-game hitting streak is the longest by a rookie this season, singled to left off Matt Herges (2-1) with runners on first and third and no outs in the ninth.
"He's pretty talented," Herges said of McCutchen. "I think we'll be seeing a lot of him in the next 10 years to come. That being said, I need to put up a zero and give my team a chance to win. I did not do that."
Wilson, who was 3 for 3 with a walk, had stolen third, only his second steal of the season for the Pirates. The stolen base was credited when Wilson took off for third after McCutchen showed bunt and the Indians' infield put on the "wheel play."
"Being a shortstop, I know it's a pretty tough play," Wilson said. "It's just something that you read."
"Wilson was being aggressive," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "But he's basically running into an out there. A mistake was made. (Shortstop Jhonny Peralta) needs to get to the bag."
Ross Ohlendorf allowed two runs on five hits and three walks in seven innings to match Lee.
Matt Capps (1-3) earned the win by retiring the side in the top of the ninth.
Victor Martinez went 2 for 3 with a home run and scored twice for the Indians, who have lost eight of nine.
Martinez entered the game hitless in his past 18 at-bats, but reached base three times. He was 3 for 42 against the National League this season but singled, walked and led off the sixth with his 13th home run, to center on a 3-1 pitch.
Shin-soo Choo's two-out double in the third inning drove in Martinez. Choo had two hits.
The Pirates trailed 2-0 and had only two hits - both by Wilson - through five innings against Lee but scratched out a run in the sixth.
McCutchen - who leads all rookies in June for hits and RBIs despite not being recalled until June 4 - led off with a double down the left-field line.
The speedster, who has a hit in 18 of 20 career games, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Freddy Sanchez's sacrifice fly.
"He's an impressive looking young player," Wedge said. "He really is."
In the seventh, Lee walked his only three of the game, including McCutchen with the bases loaded. The rookie fought back from an 0-2 count and fouling off two pitches.
"That was a great at bat for a young player," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "He's a very poised kid for his age."
Lee was charged with two runs on four hits. He has allowed only 10 runs in 37 innings this month.
"You always want to do well, but it makes it more exciting to go against a pitcher like him," Ohlendorf said. "Just because it's such a challenge to get a win, so it means so much more. All wins are big, but it's more exciting to get a win against someone like that."
Each team loaded the bases via walks in the eighth but did not score. The Indians came closest when Martinez hit a fly to the wall in left that Nyjer Morgan made a leaping catch on.
Indians OF Grady Sizemore was not in the lineup two days after coming off the disabled list. Wedge had said Sizemore would be given days off in an effort to ease him back into action. ... RHP Fausto Carmona pitched 6 1-3 shutout innings in his first start for Class A Lake County since being optioned to the minors by the Indians June 5. Carmona, won 19 games in 2007 but struggled last season and was 2-6 with a 7.42 ERA this season, allowed one hit and one walk with seven strikeouts . ... Pirates manager John Russell was ejected in the sixth for arguing with plate umpire Jerry Lane, his second career ejection.