McCutchen back in lineup as Alvarez rests

McCutchen back in lineup as Alvarez rests

McCutchen back in lineup as Alvarez rests
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates opened a seven-game homestand Monday following trips to Philadelphia and St. Louis. They finished the road trip 4-3, but were dealt a few minor injuries to their lineup along the way.

All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen left Saturday's game in the seventh inning after spraining his left wrist on a diving play in the third. McCutchen sat out Sunday, a day that saw Pedro Alvarez exit the game in the eighth inning because of leg cramps.

"You never know when injuries are going to jump up on you or what they're going to bring, so you try to manage them to the best of your ability," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We'll try and be proactive with both these guys, and get them back on the field when it's smart."

After having Sunday off, McCutchen was back in the lineup against the Astros on Monday. Alvarez did not start, but Hurdle said he'd be available off the bench.

"The leg's not cramping up any longer," Hurdle said of Alvarez. "He went out and did all his work and felt like he was close, but we might be in a situation where one more day might put us in a better place."

Since June 16, Alvarez led the National League with seven home runs and 19 RBIs entering Monday. McCutchen enters Monday's game with 15 homers, 51 RBIs and 14 stolen bases, numbers that nobody else in baseball has equaled in full. He also owned a .346 batting average, fifth best in the Majors.

It must have been alarming for fans in Pittsburgh when their newly minted two-time All-Star outfielder did not immediately hop up upon making the play in St. Louis on Saturday. But McCutchen told reporters Monday his wrist was fine, and he felt so normal on Sunday that he could have played.

"I dove for the ball, and I really didn't know what happened. Right when I caught the ball, my wrist was just kind of tight, and I didn't know why," said McCutchen, who saw a slight hyperextension on the replay. "It's not a big deal at all."