Pirates thump Giants in McCutchen’s return

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Starling Marte, Josh Bell and Jose Osuna all hit two-run homers, Max Moroff added a three-run blast and Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants, 11-2, on Friday night in Andrew McCutchen’s return to PNC Park.

McCutchen, a five-time All-Star who played his first nine seasons in Pittsburgh before being traded to the Giants in January, received an extended ovation from the largest crowd to watch a Pirates home game this season when he came to bat in the second inning. The right fielder went 1 for 5 with a double and threw out Pittsburghás Colin Moran at home plate to end the sixth.

Steven Brault (3-1) picked up the win in relief after Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon left after three innings with a laceration on his right hand. Jordy Mercer went 3 for 3 and scored twice for the Pirates, who have won five of six.

San Francisco rookie Andrew Suarez (1-2) lasted just four innings in his fourth career start, giving up five runs on seven hits, including home runs to Marte in the first and Osuna in the fourth. Austin Jacksonás two-run double in the fourth briefly tied the game at 2, but Suarez struggled in the bottom of the inning as the Giants dropped their fifth straight.

Pittsburgh is off to a solid start in the competitive NL Central despite a roster makeover that included sending McCutchen — the 2013 NL MVP — west in exchange for reliever Kyle Crick, outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds and international bonus slot money.

McCutchen has watched from afar while trying to move on to the next phase of his career with the Giants. Still, he knew it would be a milestone of sorts to return to the place where he helped transform the Pirates from perennial losers to contenders who reached the playoffs three straight times from 2013-15.

“If I cry, I cry, big whoop,” the 31-year-old said before the game.