Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It's Mcclutch and the Kid Rookie Holt, MVP Candidate Mccutchen Get 4 Hits Apiece to End 4-Game Slide Pirates 6, Astros 2

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It's Mcclutch and the Kid Rookie Holt, MVP Candidate Mccutchen Get 4 Hits Apiece to End 4-Game Slide Pirates 6, Astros 2

Article excerpt

After a horrid August, McCutchen had a torrid night, going 4 for 4 with three RBIs to help the Pirates break a four-game slump and beat the Houston Astros, 6-2, Tuesday night at PNC Park.

Not to be outdone, infielder Brock Holt, who one month ago was playing in Class AA, went 4 for 5 and scored two runs in his fourth major league game.

"They showed up big time for us," manager Clint Hurdle said. "You get 10 hits on the night and you've got two players with eight of them, you don't see that very often."

The offense helped underscore another strong start from Wandy Rodriguez, who pitched seven scoreless innings to earn his second consecutive victory. Rodriguez has not allowed a run in his past 13 innings, spanning his past two starts.

He struck out seven batters and allowed four hits Tuesday night.

"Wandy was the guy we needed to be on," Hurdle said. "And he was."

Rodriguez was effective mixing his fastball and changeup, and his ability to throw a timely breaking ball helped him put away his former team.

"This team is very special for me because I played for the Astros for a long time," Rodriguez said. "But, when the game gets started, I don't have any friends."

Rodriguez retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced.

"This is what I saw a lot in the five years that I saw him -- the change in speeds, soft, hard," Hurdle said. "There's more there than you think."

McCutchen's four-hit game was his sixth this season and first since July 2. He did not have any four-hit games in 2011.

His strong night boosted his batting average to .347, allowing him to overtake San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, suspended for the remainder of the regular season after testing positive for a banned substance, for best in the major leagues.

It was the first time he had more than two hits in a game since July 31, before the start of a month that saw the center fielder hit a season-worst .252. But he sparked the Pirates (71-64) with his second-highest RBI game of the second half.

"It definitely feels good to be able to produce, go out and have a good game," McCutchen said. "Work in progress. It's all about getting that feeling back. It felt pretty good tonight. …

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