PITTSBURGH - JUNE 08: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by manager Clint Hurdle #13 after scoring in the tenth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game on June 8, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Paul Maholm pitched six scoreless innings, getting the better of former teammate Zach Duke, who allowed one run over seven innings for the Diamondbacks. But Jose Veras struggled in the eighth and let the tying run come home. (Fellow reliever Tony Watson made his major-league debut and picked up the slack, striking out consecutive batters with two men on to let Veras off the hook.)
The Diamondbacks scored in the 10th on an RBI single by Stephen Drew, but McCutchen doubled in the bottom of the inning, and Neil Walker singled him home. Arizona put on two runners in both the 11th and 12th innings, but Daniel McCutchen wriggled out each time without allowing a run. Then Zach Kroenke came on for Arizona and promptly allowed the bomb by Andrew McCutchen, who sent it just inside the left-field foul pole.
The Pirates are now .500 after 60 games for the first time since 2005. That 2005 team came apart completely down the stretch and finished 67-95, but this 2011 team feels different - they've got a star in Andrew McCutchen, a pretty good Robin to McCutchen's Batman in Neil Walker, two very good starting pitchers in Charlie Morton and James McDonald, and an excellent bullpen. It's not completely out of the realm of possibility that they'll finish the season with a winning record.