CINCINNATI — The Pirates’ MVP saved them. Twice.

Andrew McCutchen tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth inning Saturday night, then connected again in the 11th inning, rallying the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

“Strange game,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s summertime. Strange things are happening.”

And some spectacular things from Pittsburgh’s best player. The Pirates blew a four-run lead for the second straight night but managed to come back behind McCutchen, who has more homers against Cincinnati than anyone else since 2009.

“Huge swings of the bat for us,” Hurdle said. “He’s a special player.”

Notes

• Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura was touched by tragedy when he learned late Friday night that his 9-month-old son, Janniel, had died in the Dominican Republic after an illness.

• Miami Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez will replace injured Washington pitcher Jordan Zimmermann on the National League roster for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

• Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez left the game against Cleveland with back stiffness and is listed as day to day.

• The Oakland Athletics placed infielder Alberto Callaspo on the 15-day disabled list because of a right hamstring strain. The A’s recalled infielder Andy Parrino from Class AAA Sacramento.

• The Angels recalled infielder Efren Navarro from Class AAA Salt Lake to provide extra depth on the bench the last two games before the All-Star break. The Angels optioned right-hander Drew Rucinski to Class AA Arkansas.

• The Texas Rangers purchased the contract of left-hander Ryan Feierabend from Class AAA Round Rock, and he could start Sunday. The Rangers optioned left-hander Aaron Poreda to Round Rock.