Andrew McCutchen’s fractured rib is healed. The reigning National League MVP is hoping his return will have the same effect on the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates.
His return didn’t help Tuesday as Atlanta pounded the Pirates 11-3 for their seventh straight loss. McCutchen went 0 for 4 in his first game back after missing two weeks with fractured cartilage in his ribs. He left the game after grounding into a double play in the eighth.
The Pirates went 5-9 in McCutchen’s absence to fall slightly off the pace in the playoff race.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” McCutchen said. “It’s like having your best friend out there during a race and you want to go out there and help him and you can’t. It’s kind of the same thing. Your teammates are out there grinding and we’re getting the short end of the stick the last few games.”
McCutchen was batting .307 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs at the time of the injury. He insists he isn’t experiencing any lingering pain from the injury, which came after a seemingly routine sacrifice fly against Arizona on Aug. 3. He will wear extra padding for the time being as a precaution but doesn’t believe he will be limited in any way.
“I’m going to play the way I’ve been playing,” he said.
Jeter loses hit
Turns out, the hit that tied Derek Jeter with Honus Wagner came a day later than everyone thought.
Major League Baseball made an official scoring change Tuesday that took away an infield single from Jeter on Aug. 8 and instead charged Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana with an error on the play.
Originally, that hit pulled Jeter even with Wagner for sixth place on baseball’s career list at 3,430. Now, it’s an infield single the next day against the Indians that moved Jeter up the chart. And it was his double on Aug. 11 in Baltimore that pushed him ahead of Wagner.
Clearing the bases
The Indians have signed reliever Scott Atchison to a contract for next season. The 38-year-old Atchison has been major contributor out of Cleveland’s bullpen this season, going 6-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 53 appearances. … Orioles manager Buck Showalter said starter Ubaldo Jimenez is moving to the bullpen. Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is expected to be recalled soon after throwing a 75-pitch simulated game Monday for Double-A Bowie. … Rangers right fielder Alex Rios was scratched from the starting lineup against the Marlins because of a bruised right thumb. … The Cardinals have put second baseman Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, retroactive to Aug. 15.
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