Reynolds stars as Pirates drill White Sox in Cutch’s return

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen took in the moment on Friday. He fought back the tears he knew would come and settled in for his first at-bat at PNC Park with Pittsburgh in more than five years.

The veteran outfielder could see well enough to lash a single to right field, the start of a 19-hit barrage by the Pirates in a 13-9 victory over the Chicago White Sox that served as an emotional homecoming for McCutchen and – Pittsburgh hopes – a sign of things to come.

Particularly if the group McCutchen was brought in to mentor can keep taking steps forward.

“We know what we’re capable of,” McCutchen said. “We’ve just got to keep believing in each other.”

Bryan Reynolds continued his torrid start by driving in six runs. The left fielder is now the best player on the team the way McCutchen was a decade ago. Yet he had never played in front of a crowd that large at PNC Park, many of them wearing black at McCutchen’s request in a nod to the team’s brief run of three straight playoff appearances from 2013-15.

“It was fun to play in front of a stadium like that,” Reynolds said. “Hopefully, we’ll keep rolling and it’ll be like that more often.”

Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the third and a bases-clearing triple in the fifth. Reynolds popped up and raced home when the relay throw from Chicago second baseman Elvis Andrus skipped by third baseman Yoán Moncada. Reynolds’ five home runs this season are the most by a Pirate through seven games since Hall of Famer Willie Stargell in 1971.

“It’s special anytime you’re in same sentence with somebody like that,” Reynolds said.

McCutchen, who signed a one-year deal in January to rejoin the team he starred for earlier in his career, went 2 for 5 in his first game at PNC Park as a member of the Pirates since September 2017.

The five-time All-Star and 2013 National League MVP received a loud ovation when he stepped to the plate in the first as the designated hitter. Home plate umpire Ryan Wills, making an exception to MLB’s new pitch-clock rules, allowed the 36-year-old McCutchen to appreciate a day he had been anticipating since he rejoined the club.

“It’s a special moment, special day for me,” McCutchen said. “It’s one I’m going to remember.”

Connor Joe tied a career high with four hits. Reynolds, Ji Hwan Bae and Jason Delay had three hits each for Pittsburgh. Dauri Moreta (1-0) worked two scoreless innings for his first major league win.

Luis Robert hit a pair of two-run homers for the White Sox. Oscar Colás added the first home run of his career in the ninth. Tim Anderson collected four hits and scored four times but Chicago was undone by another shaky pitching performance. The White Sox have allowed 12 or more runs in three of their last four games, dropping all three.

“I don’t have concern with the pitching, I really don’t,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “These guys have done it before, they’ve done it for a while now. It’s just one of those stretches. Obviously there are adjustments to be made.”

Lucas Giolito, who no-hit the Pirates in 2020, allowed seven runs and a career-high 12 hits in four innings.

“It was not good,” Giolito said. “We hit their starter really well. We were given leads and I kept giving them up, so it’s not good.”

Jake Diekman (0-1) fared no better in relief. He retired the first batter he faced in the fifth before letting the next four batters reach, including a go-ahead single by Delay.

Jimmy Lambert came on to face Reynolds, who laced a shot to the right-field corner to send the Pirates to their fourth straight victory.

Pittsburgh starter Rich Hill struggled as the White Sox pounded the 43-year-old’s variety of breaking pitches, most of which didn’t break 75 mph. Hill gave up seven runs and eight hits – three of them homers – in four-plus innings.


The White Sox designated longtime reliever José Ruiz for assignment and called up right-hander Jesse Scholtens from Triple-A Charlotte.

Ruiz, 28, struggled in four appearances with Chicago this season. He gave up multiple runs in each of his last three outings as his ERA ballooned to 22.04.

The 29-year-old Scholtens allowed one run in three innings in his major league debut.


The series continues Saturday when Chicago’s Mike Clevinger (1-0, 0.00 ERA) faces Vince Velasquez (0-1, 5.79 ERA). Clevinger threw five shutout innings against Houston in his debut with the White Sox last Sunday.

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”