CINCINNATI -- Ronny Cedeno's bunt with runners on first and third in the eighth inning of Sunday's 7-6 win against the Reds was his idea. It was also encouraged by his manager.
Garrett Jones had singled and swiped second base, and Chris Snyder reached on an error when he attempted to sacrifice Jones to third. Cedeno bunted toward Reds pitcher Logan Ondrusek, who fielded the ball with his glove and flipped it to catcher Ryan Hanigan. Hanigan tagged out a sliding Jones on a close play at the plate.
"Actually if the bunt goes another foot, we're safe," Hurdle said. "It didn't go enough, the guy made a great play. We take chances."
Hurdle said the bunt was a push bunt, not a squeeze, and that he talked with the team about when to use a push bunt to score runners from third.
"I don't feel good right now at home plate, I got to do something different," Cedeno said. "I know the pitcher's real tall and he's not a good fielder. I'm trying to get an RBI."
Ondrusek is listed at 6 feet 8.
Andrew McCutchen had three hits in his previous eight games, spanning 31 at-bats, entering Sunday's game. Three pitches into the game, he had started the process of getting back in the groove when he led off with an opposite-field home run.
"It was just a matter of time," McCutchen said. "All I could do was laugh about it. That's not me. That's what I don't do."
McCutchen finished 3 for 3 with a run, two RBIs and two walks. His average was .204 entering the day, .250 after it.
"If I can start off the game helping the team out and not get an out, it definitely makes me feel good about the next upcoming at-bats," he said.
McCutchen's RBI single in the eighth inning proved to be the winning hit.
"Time will tell, but it's an awful good day for him," Hurdle said. "He's just been working hard and battling and believing in himself. You're only as good as you think you are and as bad as you think you are and this kid's a good player."
Hurdle used five relievers Sunday. Chris Resop and Evan Meek each pitched one-third of an inning and Daniel McCutchen threw two-thirds of an inning. Jose Veras allowed one run on two hits in 12/3 innings, and Joel Hanrahan earned the five-out save despite walking one, throwing a wild pitch and allowing three hits.
"I was just looking for guys to get every out they could before we had to make a move, and we got just enough of them," Hurdle said.
One hit off Hanrahan was a short dribbler in front of the plate, and another hit home plate and bounced too high for any infielder to have a play.
John Bowker got his first hit since April 8, a pinch-hit double that scored Cedeno and gave the Pirates a lead in the sixth.
"As a pinch-hitter you got to come in aggressive," Bowker said. "You don't have too many pitches to hit, you get that one pitch you don't want to miss it. I try to just go in there and be real aggressive with my swing."
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org .