CINCINNATI (AP) — Andrew McCutchen was angry that plate umpire Jeff Kellogg wouldn’t let him call time to get ready to hit in the fourth inning.
McCutchen didn’t need Kellogg’s help in the fifth.
The Pittsburgh center fielder snapped a 0-for-15 slump with a run-scoring single, helping the Pirates to a 5-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
McCutchen argued with Kellogg in the third after Kellogg wouldn’t let him call time to slow down Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle.
“I thought he was quick to the plate,” McCutchen said after the game. “I asked him three times, and I got one. It’s all about safety for me. They’d buzzed me earlier. I want to be ready.”
He made sure he was ready with Starling Marte on second base and out in the fifth, singling to center field for a 3-1 Pirates lead.
“I wasn’t going to try to let anyone get in my head,” he said. “I was ready. He left one out over the plate, and I was able to get an RBI. I was able to be victorious for one at bat.”
John Jaso and Starling Marte each drove in two runs against the Central Division last-place Reds, who left 11 runners on base, including three in the ninth, while slipping to 2-4 on their nine-game home stand. They have scored two runs in their last 19 innings.
“The game was sitting there for us to win and we didn’t do it,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Mahle (0-1), promoted from Triple-A Louisville to start, walked four Pirates and hit another. The right-hander gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts.
“Once I started to play catch, I was fine,” Mahle said. “I got a little wild. I had to slow everything down. I like to work fast, but I got a little too fast and walked a couple guys.”
Marte capped a three-hit day with a two-run single in the ninth.
The Reds scored both of their runs on outs. Scott Schebler drove in Scooter Gennett with an unearned run set up by catcher Elias Diaz’s throwing error in the second, and Zack Cozart scored on Gennett’s groundout in the fifth. Joey Votto had reached base in a season-high 29 consecutive games before going 0-for-4 on Saturday. He bounced back to walk five times on Sunday for the second time in his career, tying a franchise record.