Sponsored by:

 U.S. News
 World News
 Michigan News
 Strange News

 Music Reviews
 Movie Reviews
 Recipes & Menus

 Red Wings/NHL
 College Football
 College Basketball
 NASCAR Racing

Video & Photos
 Video & Photo Sharing
 Photos to Buy



 Newspaper Ads
 Special Sections

General Info
 About Us
 Place A Classified
 How To Advertise


Aug 19, 10:51 PM EDT

McCutchen returns but Pirates fall to Braves 11-3

AP Photo
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
Sports Video

Complete Baseball Coverage
Mark McGwire timeline
Steroids in Baseball
How to throw a knuckleball
An interactive looking at Derek Jeter's career
Bonds Multimedia
Bonds & BALCO Timeline
Bonds Breaks Home Run Record
Bonds: Chasing the HR Record
Latest News
Dodgers trail early and lose 4-1 to Padres

Padres beat Dodgers 4-1 to end 2-game skid

Royals fall 5-2 to Rockies, 3-game win streak ends

Jackson hit hard, Cubs beaten by Giants

Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume

Pirate Attacks Near Somalia
Buy AP Photo Reprints

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen slapped the ball to third base and prepared to put together another patent sprint to first.

He barely made it out of the batter's box. Like the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the reigning National League MVP is spinning his wheels at the moment.

McCutchen went 0 for 4 in his return from the disabled list as the Pirates fell to the surging Atlanta Braves 11-3 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight loss.

While he reported no discomfort in his first game since fracturing rib cartilage on Aug. 3, McCutchen didn't exactly look crisp. In addition to his stumble in the sixth he grounded into a double play in the eighth before being taken out with things well out of reach.

"This is definitely something trying to do, get back in the rhythm of things, get back in the swing of things," McCutchen said. "That will come sooner rather than later."

If the Pirates want to steady themselves, McCutchen won't really have a choice.

Pittsburgh could do little against Aaron Harang (10-7), who struck out four without a walk in 8 1-3 innings. Travis Snider, Starling Marte and Russell Martin had two hits apiece for the Pirates, but Pittsburgh couldn't get the hits when they mattered after the Braves raced to a quick 4-0 lead.

"There's tipping points and you look for one good at bat, one big swing with a guy on base that can change the direction of the game and we haven't gotten that the last week or so," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

Justin Upton went 2 for 4 with five RBI for the Braves, including a three-run homer off Francisco Liriano (3-10) in the third and a two-run single in the fifth.

"He gets hot and he can carry us," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's done that a few months so it's nice to have that big bat right behind (Freddie) Freeman, who is starting to roll the pole a little bit also."

Jason Heyward went 2 for 5 with three RBI for the Braves while Evan Gattis hit his 19th homer. Atlanta has won five straight.

Pittsburgh is heading in the opposite direction.

The Pirates went 5-9 without their superstar center fielder. He received a standing ovation when he made his first plate appearance but was caught looking at a fastball from Harang that caught the outside corner.

It marked the start of another forgettable night for the Pirates, who matched their longest losing streak since dropping seven in a row from Sept. 7-14, 2012. That skid came in the middle of a late freefall that sent them tumbling out of playoff contention after a promising summer.

Hurdle doesn't believe history is repeating itself, at least not yet.

"We've had situations where it hasn't been one thing you've put your finger on, we haven't played a complete game," Hurdle said. "This is all about the beauty and the challenge of a 162-game season. It's up to us to get it turned back around."

Better pitching would help. Liriano gave up nine runs, seven earned, in four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four while his ERA rose from 3.78 to 4.18.

"One of those nights anything you throw is gonna get hit," Liriano said. "They've been pretty hot last couple games. ... I've got to put it behind me, got to move forward."


Braves: After failing to retire a single batter against Charlotte in an International League game on Wednesday night, rehabbing right-handed reliever Shae Simmons will make a third appearance for Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. Simmons has been on the disabled list since July 27 with a strained right shoulder.

Pirates: Shortstop Clint Barmes was given a night off in Triple-A Indianapolis as he recovers from a strained left groin that has sidelined him since late June. The 35-year-old Barmes went 0 for 3 in his first game with the Indians on Monday night.


Braves: Alex Wood (9-9, 3.07 ERA) goes for his third straight victory on Wednesday for Atlanta. The 23-year-old has a 1.45 ERA over his last six starts but remains at .500 on the season because he receives the second-lowest run support in the majors.

Pirates: Ace-in-training Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.78 ERA) returns from his second stint on the disabled list on Wednesday. Cole hasn't pitched in the majors since being sidelined by right lat soreness on July 9.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.



Return to your local newspaper...

 Daily Publications

Non-Daily Publications


Home | About Us | Subscribe | Place A Classified | How To Advertise
MICENTRAL.COM is a network of Michigan newspaper Web sites.

© Copyright MICentral, a Journal Register Property & part of Journal Register MI -- All rights reserved
Our Publications | About Our Ads | Privacy Policy/Terms of Service