Pirates beat D’backs on McCutchen’s walk-off HR in 9th, but Polanco, Stewart injured


Updated 34 minutes ago

Andrew McCutchen doesn’t believe it helped him last season when he was benched for an entire road series against the Atlanta Braves.

A week ago, as he battled an even deeper slump, McCutchen again was not in the lineup for two games in Atlanta. When he returned, he was dropped to sixth in the lineup.

The results have been startling and positive. Over the past four games, McCutchen has gone 5 for 13 with two home runs and four RBIs.

On Monday, McCutchen clubbed his sixth career walk-off homer to propel the Pirates to a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

McCutchen’s heroics kept the game from going into extra innings. That was huge for the Pirates, who ran out of bench players after injuries to right fielder Gregory Polanco and catcher Chris Stewart.

“Last year, the time off in Atlanta didn’t do anything for me,” McCutchen said. “This time, it did. Having those couple days (off) did help me. I don’t know what it is about Atlanta.”

McCutchen paused and smiled.

“I was able to unwind a little bit. I’m feeling good, feeling better, having more consistent at-bats. Now, it’s just a matter of hitting the ball and it finding a hole.”

Or, in this case, finding the seats above the Clemente Wall.

The Diamondbacks tied the score 3-3 in the ninth inning on Chris Iannetta’s two-run, two-out homer off Tony Watson.

McCutchen led off the bottom of the inning by driving a 1-1 fastball from Archie Bradley over the right-field wall. With the blast, McCutchen tied Ralph Kiner and Willie Stargell for most walk-off homers in franchise history.

“I was just trying to keep it simple, and got a pitch I could hit,” McCutchen said. “The game already had gone long enough.”

It was best to end it before anyone else got hurt.

Polanco was carted off the field in the sixth inning after spraining his right ankle. In the seventh, Stewart strained his left hamstring while running out a two-run triple.

X-rays showed no break in Polanco’s ankle, and he left PNC Park wearing a boot.

As he chased fly ball hit by Yasmany Tomas, Polanco crashed into the short fence in foul territory and crumpled to the warning track. Polanco grimaced and grabbed his ankle.

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“My right foot went straight into the wall,” Polanco said. “It really hurt. I was like, ‘Please, God, it’s not broken.’ I have to stay positive and see how it feels (on Tuesday).”

It was Polanco’s fourth game since being activated off the disabled list May 25. He had been out because of a strained left hamstring.

With runners on first and second, Stewart ripped a two-out triple off J.J. Hoover. Stewart began to pull up as he neared third base, then slid awkwardly to the bag.

After the game, Stewart said he strained his “upper calf-hamstring area” during his sprint.

“It’s not too bad,” Stewart said. “Nothing major showed up in the preliminary testing. Hopefully, it’s just a strain. We’ll see how it is in the morning and take it from there.”

An 11-year veteran, Stewart owns two career triples — both of which he hit this season. The first came April 23 against the New York Yankees.

“He doesn’t need to hit any more triples the rest of his career,” manager Clint Hurdle joked. “We’ve put a limit of two bases unless it leaves the park.”

Pirates starter Trevor Williams worked a career-high six innings, gave up one run on four hits, and struck out three. He threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of 24 batters and retired 14 hitters on three or fewer pitches.

“His best outing up here,” Hurdle said.

Williams moved into the starting rotation May 8 after Jameson Taillon (testicular cancer) went on the disabled list. After getting shelled (three innings, seven hits, six earned runs) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first start, Williams has shown improvement.

“I’ve seen development,” Hurdle said. “He’s going out there without one of his pitches and still found ways to compete. He’s been strong through five. The pitch count has been bumped up gradually. I think he’s taken some positive steps.”

In the first inning, it took a replay review to confirm that Williams nicked David Peralta on the foot with a pitch. It didn’t seem like such a big deal after slugger Paul Goldschmidt popped up for the second out.

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Jake Lamb pulled a single into right field, which sent Peralta to third base. Tomas yanked a slider into left for an RBI single.

The Pirates tied it at 1-1 in the fourth. Jordy Mercer tripled off the right-field wall and scored on Josh Bell’s sacrifice fly.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli pours a Powerade cooler on Andrew McCutchen after McCutchen’s walk-off homer in the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer scores past Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis during the fourth inning Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco is helped up by Josh Bell and Alen Hanson after he collided with a railing in foul territory during the sixth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams throws during the first inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco is helped from the field by trainer Ben Potenziano and Alen Hanson during the sixth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings tags out the Pirates’ Jordy Mercer on a caught stealing during the first inning Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco is taken from the field on a cart after he collided with a railing in foul territory during the sixth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco steals second base past the Diamondbacks’ Jake Lamb Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates catcher Chris Stewart slides into third base with a two-run triple during the seventh inning next to the Diamondbacks’ Jake Lamb Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park. Stewart was injured on the play.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams winds up during the first inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Pirates catcher Chris Stewart is helped from the field by trainer Ben Potenziano after hitting a two-run triple during the seventh inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen watches his walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen is greeted at home plate by teammates after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen rounds the bases after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning past the Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen hits a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks Monday, May 29, 2017, at PNC Park.





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