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Chicago at Pittsburgh

W: E. Volquez (4-5) L: J. Samardzija (2-6)
HR: CHC - None   PIT - None

Pirates 4, Cubs 0

CBSSports.com wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has coined a phrase for where star center fielder Andrew McCutchen is at the moment.

"(He's) McHot," Hurdle said.

For once, it might be an understatement.

The reigning National League MVP had two doubles and two RBIs to lift the Pirates to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night. McCutchen is batting .428 (18 of 42) this month, with 15 of his hits going for extra bases.

"I'm seeing the ball and I get a pitch to hit and I hit it and it's finding the gaps and that's basically what's happening right now for me," said McCutchen, a career .324 hitter in June. "Things are just working out right now and I want to continue to stay where I'm at."

Russell Martin also doubled twice for the Pirates and rookie Gregory Polanco got a hit in the third straight game since his call-up. Edinson Volquez (4-5) pitched seven effective innings to win for the third time in his last five starts.

Volquez struck out five and walked two while outpitching Chicago ace Jeff Samardzija (2-6). It helped the Cubs could do little when given the chance. Chicago went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

"He was commanding the zone like he does when he is in a good place and we were on the other side of it," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of Volquez.

McCutchen broke it open with a two-run double in the fifth. The Pirates had seven doubles in all, their highest total since a win over Houston in July 2010.

"The next team that comes in here is probably better off pitching around him and letting him go to first base," Samardzija said.

Luis Valbuena had two doubles for the Cubs, who went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position to fall for the fourth time in five games. The Cubs have scored two runs or fewer in nine of Samardzija's 14 starts.

Chicago's troubles weren't just on offense on a night the worst road team in baseball fell to 0-9-3 in series played away from Wrigley Field this year. Samardzija struggled against a team that seems to be rounding into form behind its star center fielder.

McCutchen extended his hitting streak to eight straight by doubling with one out in the fourth before coming around to score when Martin smacked a ball off the wall in right field. Ike Davis scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Jordy Mercer to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Pittsburgh made it 4-0 in the fifth when Polanco -- batting leadoff for the first time -- and Starling Marte hit consecutive singles followed by drive by McCutchen to the notch in left-center. McCutchen slid into the third on the play before making a rare mental miscue when he stepped off the base, allowing him to get tagged out in the process.

"I guess that's why they say stay humble in this game, because crazy stuff like that will happen," McCutchen said. "Popping up, getting all excited and next thing you know I'm floating all over the bag and his glove is right there so that's why you stay humble."

It hardly mattered. The Cubs were too busy wasting chances to get to Volquez, who has suddenly emerged as a constant on Pittsburgh's injury muddled pitching staff. After a bumpy patch in early May, Volquez is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his last five starts.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

L. Valbuena
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

E. Volquez
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 0
BB 2
K 5

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Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Emilio Bonifacio, CF1000000 .266
   Chris Coghlan, LF2000103 .183
Junior Lake, LF-CF4010025 .242
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4000023 .277
Starlin Castro, SS4010010 .272
Luis Valbuena, 3B4020020 .293
Nate Schierholtz, RF4000023 .213
John Baker, C3000103 .153
Darwin Barney, 2B4020000 .203
Jeff Samardzija, P1010000 .200
   James Russell, P0000000 .000
   Brian Schlitter, P00000001.000
   Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
2B - Luis Valbuena (17, Volquez), Jeff Samardzija (3, Volquez)
SH - Jeff Samardzija 2 (2)
CS - Junior Lake (2, 2nd base by Volquez/Martin)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Junior Lake 1, Nate Schierholtz 1
DP - Schierholtz-Baker
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Jeff Samardzija (L,2-6) 6944270 2.77
James Russell 0.1000010 2.93
Brian Schlitter 0.2000000 2.37
Wesley Wright 1100010 2.66
IBB - Alvarez by Jeff Samardzija
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Samardzija 94-62, James Russell 3-3, Brian Schlitter 7-5, Wesley Wright 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Samardzija 5-4, Brian Schlitter 1-1, Wesley Wright 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Samardzija 27, James Russell 1, Brian Schlitter 2, Wesley Wright 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Gregory Polanco, RF4110012 .214
Starling Marte, LF4110011 .249
Andrew McCutchen, CF4122011 .321
Ike Davis, 1B3110000 .240
   a-Gaby Sanchez, PH-1B1010000 .255
Russell Martin, C4021011 .279
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3000132 .236
Jordy Mercer, SS3001002 .227
Clint Barmes, 2B2010110 .217
Edinson Volquez, P1000013 .053
   b-Travis Snider, PH1010000 .234
   Tony Watson, P00000001.000
   Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Davis in the 8th
b-doubled for Volquez in the 7th
2B - Andrew McCutchen 2 (21, Samardzija), Gaby Sanchez (10, Wright), Russell Martin 2 (6, Samardzija), Clint Barmes (3, Samardzija), Travis Snider (2, Samardzija)
SF - Jordy Mercer (2)
SH - Edinson Volquez (3)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen 2 (37), Russell Martin (18), Jordy Mercer (13)
SB - Russell Martin (3, 3rd base off Samardzija/Baker), Pedro Alvarez (5, 2nd base off Samardzija/Baker)
Team LOB - 6
Pittsburgh Pirates
Edinson Volquez (W,4-5) 7700250 3.89
Tony Watson 1000030 0.87
Jared Hughes 1000010 1.88
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 99-67, Tony Watson 15-9, Jared Hughes 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 11-4, Jared Hughes 2-0
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 29, Tony Watson 3, Jared Hughes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25431
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Tom Woodring, Third Base - Scott Barry