CINCINNATI — Andrew McCutchen was angry that plate umpire Jeff Kellogg wouldn’t let him call time to get ready to hit in the fourth inning.
McCutchen didn’t need Kellogg’s help in the fifth.
The Pittsburgh center fielder snapped a 0-for-15 slump with a run-scoring single, helping the Pirates to a 5-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
McCutchen argued with Kellogg in the third after Kellogg wouldn’t let him call time to slow down Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle.
“I thought he was quick to the plate,” McCutchen said after the game. “I asked him three times, and I got one. It’s all about safety for me. They’d buzzed me earlier. I want to be ready.”
He made sure he was ready with Starling Marte on second base and out in the fifth, singling to center field for a 3-1 Pirates lead.
“I wasn’t going to try to let anyone get in my head,” he said. “I was ready. He left one out over the plate, and I was able to get an RBI. I was able to be victorious for one at bat.”
John Jaso and Starling Marte each drove in two runs against the Central Division last-place Reds, who left 11 runners on base, including three in the ninth, while slipping to 2-4 on their nine-game home stand. They have scored two runs in their last 19 innings.
“The game was sitting there for us to win and we didn’t do it,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Mahle (0-1), promoted from Triple-A Louisville to start, walked four Pirates and hit another. The right-hander gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts.
“Once I started to play catch, I was fine,” Mahle said. “I got a little wild. I had to slow everything down. I like to work fast, but I got a little too fast and walked a couple guys.”
Marte capped a three-hit day with a two-run single in the ninth.
The Reds scored both of their runs on outs. Scott Schebler drove in Scooter Gennett with an unearned run set up by catcher Elias Diaz’s throwing error in the second, and Zack Cozart scored on Gennett’s groundout in the fifth.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, who allowed five walks in five innings during his last start on August 22 against Los Angeles, again had control problems. The right-hander walked four Reds while giving up five hits and two runs. Manager Clint Hurdle replaced his pitcher with A.J. Schugel with runners on first and second and nobody out in the fifth, leaving Taillon ineligible for a win.
Schugel (3-0), with the help of Diaz throwing out Schebler trying to steal second to end the sixth, faced the minimum six batters over two innings for the win. Felipe Rivero pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
DEBUT DEJA VU
For the second time in franchise history, both this season, a Reds pitcher and catcher made their major league debuts as the starting battery. On Sunday, it was Mahle and C Chad Wallach, the son of former major league 3B and current Marlins bench coach Tim Wallach. On April 6, it was RHP Rookie Davis and Stuart Turner.
With the bases loaded, nobody out and a 1-0 count on cleanup hitter, Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage had an effective talk with Taillon on the mound. Duvall struck out looking, Scooter Gennett popped out foul and Jose Peraza flied out to end the threat.
Joey Votto had reached base in a season-high 29 consecutive games before going 0-for-4 on Saturday. He bounced back to walk five times on Sunday for the second time in his career, tying a franchise record.
Pirates: 2B Adam Frazier left the game in the middle of the third inning with right hamstring discomfort.
Reds: RHP Scott Feldman was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Feldman underwent arthroscopic surgery to “clean out” his right knee on Tuesday.
Pirates: Pittsburgh hopes to make it six wins in seven games at Wrigley Field this season in the first game of a three-game series on Monday. RHP Trevor will make his fifth career appearance and third start against the Cubs, all this season. He is 1-1 against Chicago.
Reds: After an off day on Monday, the Mets arrive for a three-game series. Rookie RHP Sal Romano, who’s logged a career-high seven innings in each of his last two starts, will make his 11th career appearance and start and first against New York.