Daniel McCutchen picked up his first major-league victory Friday, as the Pirates nipped the Cincinnati Reds, 3-1.
The rookie right-hander worked 6.1 innings and allowed one run on four hits. McCutchen walked two and struck out five.
McCutchen (1-2) was winless in his first five starts after being called up Aug. 31 from Triple-A Indianapolis.
“It shouldn’t have taken six,” McCutchen said. “But the sixth time is a charm, I guess.”
The Pirates have won five of their past six games and improved to 62-97. With two games left in the season, they cannot lose 100 games.
Reds right-hander Justin Lehr (5-3) began the third inning by walking Daniel McCutchen on five pitches. Andrew McCutchen doubled to center, moving Daniel McCutchen to third.
Andy LaRoche shot a single down the third base line, scoring both McCutchens. LaRoche was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
In the fourth, Lastings Milledge knocked a solo homer to left. It was his fourth home run of the season, his first on the road.
Milledge also made an outstanding defensive play in the sixth inning.
With Paul Janish on second and none out, Joey Votto hit a fly ball which sliced toward the left field corner. On an all-out sprint, Milledge snagged the ball then quickly got it back to the infield so Janish could not tag up.
“Great, great catch,” Daniel McCutchen said. “That’s a game-changer. If it falls, it’s a double and run scored.”
Daniel McCutchen lost his shutout in the seventh. With one out, Wladimir Balentien crushed a 467-foot solo homer to left field.
It was the first homer allowed by a Pirates pitcher in 50 innings. It also snapped the Reds’ scoreless streak at 20.1 innings.