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Cutch, Taillon too much for Phillies

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Don't tell Andrew McCutchen June is over. It seems he wasn't given the memo, and the Phillies found out the hard way. The National League Player of the Month in June has carried his hot bat into July, homering twice in a 3-0 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday that included a 22-minute rain delay in the eighth inning.

"He hit the first one good and he hit the second one more good," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said through a laugh. "He's been fun to watch, he's hit here, he's got a history of doing some things here as well."

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PHILADELPHIA -- Don't tell Andrew McCutchen June is over. It seems he wasn't given the memo, and the Phillies found out the hard way. The National League Player of the Month in June has carried his hot bat into July, homering twice in a 3-0 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday that included a 22-minute rain delay in the eighth inning.

"He hit the first one good and he hit the second one more good," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said through a laugh. "He's been fun to watch, he's hit here, he's got a history of doing some things here as well."

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McCutchen now has nine homers in 30 career games at Citizens Bank Park, the most he's hit in any non-National League Central ballpark.

McCutchen's two homers, which Statcast™ projected having a 108.2 mph and 108.1 mph exit velocity, were the two hardest homers he's hit this season, and two of his three hardest hits. Since the beginning of June, he's hitting .412, getting on base more than half the time, and slugging .735.

"It's just getting myself in a good spot. I sound like a broken record," McCutchen said after the game. "I just get myself in position to get ready to hit, got a pitch I was able to do something with. When I'm a good spot, I can do that."

Taillon's curveball comes up big

Jameson Taillon was impressive Tuesday, as he tossed five scoreless innings. He struck out a career-high nine batters.

Video: PIT@PHI: Taillon tallies nine K's over five scoreless

Making his third Major League start, Mark Leiter Jr. held the Pirates to two runs in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander had five strikeouts, two walks and gave up four hits -- the last of which was McCutchen's first homer of the day.

Leiter impressing Phillies

Leiter has filled the rotation spot of Jerad Eickhoff, who has been on the disabled list since June 20 with a back strain but could return to the Phillies before the All-Star break.

Video: PIT@PHI: Leiter fans five over 5 1/3 solid innings

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
RISP woes: The problem for the Phillies wasn't getting runners on, so much as it was getting runners home. Philadelphia stranded nine runners across the first seven innings, and in every inning, one was left in scoring position, including four at third base. Aaron Altherr grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. The Phillies were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

"That's been one of our biggest issues," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "We have guys who have potential, and they've shown they're capable of driving runs in. But that's something we needed more of."

Video: PIT@PHI: Nicasio induces inning-ending double play

Cut off, cut down: With one out in the third, a John Jaso bases-loaded popout broke the scoreless tie and put the Pirates ahead, 1-0. More damage could have ensued, though. Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera's throw home was so far up the line that first baseman Tommy Joseph cut the ball off and nabbed Josh Harrison attempting to go to third base.

Video: PIT@PHI: Jaso brings home Frazier on sacrifice fly

UNDER REVIEW
The Pirates won a challenge in the bottom of the seventh inning, overturning a call at first base. On a bunt, Ty Kelly was ruled safe at first, but replay showed Tony Watson's throw beat him to the bag. Kelly moved two runners over on the play, but the Phillies failed to score.

Video: PIT@PHI: Kelly out after Pirates challenge in the 7th

WHAT'S NEXT
Pirates: Gerrit Cole will start the third of four games at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Cole posted a 1.35 ERA in three starts before allowing seven runs 5 1/3 innings his last time out. He has a career 3.45 ERA in six starts against the Phillies.

Phillies: Rookie right-hander Ben Lively will take the mound on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Pirates. He has a 3.96 ERA in his first six Major League starts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. He covered the Pirates on Tuesday.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.