Andrew McCutchen gets standing ovation, MVP chants in return to Pittsburgh

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Andrew McCutchen returned to Pittsburgh for the first time on Friday night, receiving a standing ovation from Pirates fans at PNC Park. Other offensive leaders for the Bucs included Josh Bell, who finished with two hits and two runs, and Gregory Polanco, who had a hit and two runs.

Pittsburgh's Jordy Mercer got hit by a Tony Watson pitch with the based loaded in the eighth inning Saturday to give the Pirates their fifth straight win, 6-5 over the visiting San Francisco Giants. He tried to cut it a bit shorter than the one on Friday, but Cervelli wouldn't let him.

While Pirates fans were upset with the team when McCutchen and former ace Gerrit Cole were traded in the offseason, early season success with the rebuilt roster has helped to ease some of that pain, which should allow for a pleasant reception for McCutchen.

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The team that finished 29th in the majors in home runs and 28th in runs last season is now in the top 10 in both categories a quarter of the way into 2018.

Salvaging the final game of a three-game set and ending a losing skid before flying home was possible thanks to Holland, who turned in his best start of the year and pitched his way around leadoff base runners in three different innings. Polanco sent a shot to the seats in right-center just out of McCutchen's reach in the third and Cervelli took advantage of Jeff Samardzija late. Posey has four hits in five at-bats against the right-handed starter. He worked into the sixth this time around and stuck around at least one batter too many. "Forget this one and go back to work on Sunday".

In his last start, Tuesday at Philadelphia he gave up three runs and six hits, including two homers, over five innings in a 4-2 loss.

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Giants: OF Hunter Pence (sprained right thumb) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento. He has made it past the fifth inning twice in seven starts and has given up three or more runs in all but one game.

"It's starting pitching", manager Bruce Bochy said. Musgrove threw 60 of his 79 pitches for strikes. He has only given up two earned runs in his last two starts.

San Francisco left-hander Derek Holland (1-4, 5.66 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.84 ERA) on Sunday.

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21-45 in their last 66 road games against a right-handed starter. Tallion hasn't had his best stuff in his two career starts against the Giants, serving up 13 runs (12 earned) in nine innings.

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