Final Score: Pittsburgh 2, Cincinnati 1
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Andrew McCutchen hit a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, in the middle installment of a three-game set.
After Josh Harrison lined out to center field to start the frame, McCutchen, who was 0-for-4 prior to his final at-bat, smacked a 2-2 fastball off Jonathan Broxton (3-2) into the right-center field seats.
Joel Hanrahan (5-1) worked a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.
"He shows up every day and leads by example," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle about McCutchen. "When he's not performing to the level that he thinks he can, he takes it personal. He's been our best player most of the season."
Pittsburgh starter Kyle McPherson tossed six scoreless frames. He fanned five, scattered four hits and walked one for the Pirates, who had lost nine of their previous 11 contests.
Mike Leake started the game for Cincinnati and also fired six scoreless innings. He struck out three, surrendered four hits and walked three for the Reds, who are one game behind the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League.
"I hope we stay in it the whole time so I can have a significant role in it," said Leake about the upcoming playoffs. "As a player, you always want to win and the playoffs is the time to do it."
The Pirates recorded just four hits over the first six frames before registering the game's first run in the seventh.
Clint Barmes began the inning with a single off Jose Arredondo, who then committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, which allowed Barmes to scamper to second. Pinch-hitter Brock Holt bunted Barmes over to third before Alex Presley brought home pinch-runner Chase d'Arnaud with a double to left- center field.
Cincinnati, which had just five hits over its first seven frames, tied the game in the eighth.
Pinch-hitter Ryan Ludwick smacked a leadoff double off Jason Grilli and pinch- runner Denis Phipps went to third on Wilson Valdez's bunt. After Zack Cozart struck out and Joey Votto was intentionally walked, Phipps scored on Scott Rolen's bloop single into left-center field.
McCutchen's homer was his 31st of the season ... The Pirates were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base, while Cincinnati finished 1-for-9 with RISP and stranded nine.
09/30 00:57:56 ET
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