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Cutch earns honor as resurgence continues

PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen says he prioritizes team success and doesn't get caught up in his numbers or personal accolades, but there's little doubt that an effective McCutchen goes a long way for the Pirates.

So, after breaking out of a prolonged early-season slump, McCutchen has to feel he's better equipped to help the Pirates win games now than he was a few weeks ago, right?

"You look at the numbers and you can answer that," McCutchen said.

You could also look at the National League Player of the Week Award, which was shared by McCutchen and Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.

McCutchen earned the co-honor by leading all Major League hitters in on-base percentage (.542) this past week and pacing the NL with a 1.000 slugging mark.

The Bucs' center fielder took home his fifth career weekly award -- the most recent coming July 7-13 -- after hitting .450 (9-for-20) and tying Braun with 20 total bases, scoring five times and driving in five runs.

"I'm not out there trying to do anything individually for myself. Just trying to do what I can to help this ballclub out. That's it," McCutchen said. "That's my job. The award's nice, but I don't care that much."

McCutchen's average sank to .185 after an 0-for-4 outing on May 5. He then hit .377/.473/.721 with five homers and six doubles over his next 17 games, entering this week with a .261/.359/.464 season batting line.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle couldn't come up with a theory when asked why McCutchen seems to heat up with the weather, but it's been a recurring theme for the four-time All-Star.

And McCutchen's awakening has seemingly coincided with that of the Pirates, as he helped them sweep the Mets over the weekend at PNC Park.

"Things are going well for us, winning some games, but we've still got a lot of games left," McCutchen said. "We've got to just keep doing what we're doing, going out and playing good ball."

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
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