Twin powers: Two Pirates stars earn Silver Slugger Awards

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Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez won Silver Slugger awards Wednesday night after their strong seasons at the plate drove the Pirates offense.

McCutchen, 27, assembled his most complete offensive season and earned his second consecutive Silver Slugger. He led all qualified National League center fielders with a .317 average. He also had a .404 on-base percentage and a .508 slugging percentage, courtesy of his 21 home runs and career-high 38 doubles.

McCutchen’s average dropped 10 points from his 2012 mark and he hit 10 fewer home runs. His walk rate increased, though, from 10.4 percent to 11.6, and his strikeout rate declined from 19.6 percent to 15.

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce and Colorado Rockies left fielder Michael Cuddyer, who won the NL batting title, also won Silver Sluggers.

Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo also had strong seasons. Gomez hit 24 home runs but had a .338 on-base percentage, a 6.3 percent walk rate and a 24.7 percent strikeout rate. Choo’s .423 on-base percentage ranked fourth among all qualified Major League Baseball players, and he hit .285 with 21 home runs.

Alvarez, 26, tied with Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for the NL lead with 36 home runs. Alvarez also struck out a league-leading 186 times and hit .233 with a .296 on-base percentage.

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson finished second in the race for the NL batting title, hitting .321. Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit .275 with 26 home runs.

The awards were announced on MLB Network. Major league managers and coaches voted for the awards.

Pirates Caravan

The Pirates winter caravan will begin its three-day trip Dec. 11, prior to PirateFest Dec. 14-15 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the Pirates announced.

Three buses of players, coaches and broadcasters will travel through Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

PirateFest will open to season-ticket holders in the morning Dec. 14, and to the public in the afternoon and Sunday.

Bill Brink: and on Twitter @BrinkPG.

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