Pirates bench CF McCutchen for one game

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen will not start Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers as punishment for not running out a dropped third strike on Wednesday.

McCutchen struck out leading off the bottom of the eighth with the Pirates trailing 2-0. The ball briefly squirted away from Los Angeles catcher Rod Barajas, but he had plenty of time to throw out McCutchen, who had already turned toward the dugout instead of running to first.

Manager Clint Hurdle said McCutchen would be available in a pinch-hitting capacity and called the benching a “manager’s decision.”

Xavier Paul will bat leadoff and play centerfield in place of McCutchen, who is batting .235 with a team-high seven home runs this season. He hit two home runs on Tuesday night in a 10-3 loss to the Dodgers.

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