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Pirates beat 8/29

August 30, 2010

Outfielder McCutchen out of Sunday’s lineup

MILWAUKEE — Through 129 games this season for the Pirates entering Sunday, center fielder Andrew McCutchen had played in 121 of them. When game No. 130 rolled around, McCutchen’s name was left, surprisingly, out of the lineup.

“It’s good I guess,” McCutchen said. “I don’t really have days off. It gives me time to just kind of chill, relax and get myself right. I’ll always be ready, though. You never know, it could be a close game and I could come in late. So I keep myself prepared and mentally ready to play.”

All but two of the eight previous games McCutchen had missed came in a mid-July stretch when he sat out six consecutive contests with a shoulder injury. After returning from that injury, McCutchen sat out another time just three games later.

Before that day off, McCutchen had not missed a game for the Pirates since the first week of May. With that in mind, the center fielder did not expect to sit out the series finale at Miller Park on Sunday.

“How can you expect it when you’re arguably the best player on the team?” remarked outfielder Lastings Milledge as he sat nearby at his locker.

“You don’t really expect a day off when you play every day,” McCutchen said. “I don’t mind playing every day. I’ve had my days off with me being injured, so it’s not like I’ve been playing the whole season. I guess they felt I needed one, so they gave me one.

“I’m not thinking too much about it.”

Alvarez moving forward after costly error

MILWAUKEE — With two out and a runner on third in the bottom of the seventh on Saturday, reliever Chan Ho Park got Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to ground to third.

With a hard hit grounder, the ball hopped off the glove of Pirates rookie Pedro Alvarez, caroming over his left shoulder and into shallow left field to shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

“The ball kicked up on me a little bit,” Alvarez said. “It took a tough hop and I can’t predict something like that.”

As center fielder Lorenzo Cain scored easily from third, the Brewers tied the game at seven runs apiece, coming back from four runs down when the Pirates led, 6-2, in the third inning.

Alvarez appeared a bit indecisive on whether to charge the ball or wait back on it. He chose the latter, and could not make the play.

“It’s still a sign of youth,” said manager John Russell. “It’s a big moment, you get a little tense and [he will] continue to get better.”

The error was Alvarez’s 10th of the season, which ranks as the ninth-most among National League third basemen. With a .942 fielding percentage, Alvarez now sits 14th among those in the NL who have started 60 or more games at the hot corner.

Even with the error leading to a crucial run for the Brewers, it’s not one that Alvarez plans to spend much time worrying about.

“Obviously you never want that to happen,” Alvarez said. “I can’t worry about it anymore. I tried to get myself in the best position possible to catch it and I just couldn’t come up with it.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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