Pirates-Giants Preview

Andrew McCutchen was still a top prospect with the Pittsburgh Pirates 22 months away from making his debut the last time they swept a road series from the San Francisco Giants.

Now an All-Star in the midst of a hot streak that has keyed their resurgence, he'll try to lead the Pirates to their 11th win in 13 games Wednesday when they again look to take three straight at AT&T Park.

Pittsburgh was a season-worst four games below .500 on May 20 following a 13-inning loss to Minnesota. McCutchen was batting .225 entering that contest, but went 3 for 5 with a game-tying home run in the eighth.

The Pirates (28-24) followed with a seven-game winning streak and haven't lost two in a row in their last 12 games, while McCutchen has batted .489 with 12 RBIs and a 1.416 OPS in his past 13.

The 2013 NL MVP continued his tear Tuesday with a season-high four hits - including a triple, double and two RBIs - in a 7-4 victory. He's gone 31 for 72 (.431) in his last 18 meetings with the Giants.

''I was fed up,'' McCutchen said of his slow start. ''That's still how I feel and I'm not done yet."

He'll try to help Pittsburgh complete its first three-game sweep in San Francisco since Aug. 10-12, 2007. That might not be easy since he's 3 for 19 lifetime off scheduled starter Tim Hudson (3-4, 4.62 ERA).

The right-hander looks to help the Giants (30-24) avoid their fifth straight loss in the finale of this seven-game homestand.

He allowed eight runs over 3 2-3 innings in an 11-2 loss at Colorado on May 24, before yielding one run over seven in Friday's 4-2 home win over Atlanta. Hudson has given up one run in 13 1-3 innings in winning his last two home starts.

However, he's 1-5 with a 4.50 ERA in his last six starts against the Pirates.

Neil Walker has gone 5 for 16 in the matchup, while Pedro Alvarez is 4 for 13 with a home run. Walker and Alvarez went a combined 4 for 9 with three RBIs and Jordy Mercer hit his first home run Tuesday.

Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano has regrouped since allowing seven runs in two innings in an 8-5 home loss to the Twins on May 19, winning his last two starts while giving up one run and striking out 23 over 12 innings.

Liriano (2-4, 3.47) surrendered three hits in six shutout innings Friday before he was pulled after 96 pitches and watched as the bullpen blew his lead in a 6-2 loss at San Diego.

The left-hander has been at his best on the road, going 1-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts. He's 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA versus San Francisco after allowing one run with 11 strikeouts over seven innings in a 3-1 road win July 29.

Buster Posey - who is expected to play first base - has gone 5 for 9 in the matchup, while Hunter Pence is 3 for 7 with two doubles. Posey had two RBIs, Pence had three hits and Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer Tuesday.

San Francisco has batted .129 with runners in scoring position and totaled 12 runs during its longest losing streak since an eight-game slide in mid-April.

"That's what wins ballgames, is getting those timely hits," manager Bruce Bochy said.

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