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.

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


• 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.