Andrew McCutchen has been benched for the finale of the Pirates' four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PNC Park Thursday night. In his place, Xavier Paul will lead off and start in center field.
McCutchen was apparently upset about a strike call in Wednesday night's game, and he failed to run to first on a strikeout when Dodgers backstop Rod Barajas didn't catch the ball. It wasn't the first such strange incident for McCutchen recently - he also was caught jogging on the bases during the Pirates' previous series against the Astros, and he made an out between third and home.
The benching comes at a time when he and the Pirates' front office are repeatedly in the midst of talks about a contract extension.
Here's the lineup for Thursday night's game:
1. Xavier Paul CF
2. Jose Tabata LF
3. Garrett Jones RF
4. Neil Walker 2B
5. Pedro Alvarez 3B
6. Lyle Overbay 1B
7. Chris Snyder C
8. Ronny Cedeno SS
9. Charlie Morton P
Jon Garland will be the starter for the Dodgers.