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Pirates to bench Andrew McCutchen throughout Braves series

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have benched Andrew McCutchen for their entire series against the Braves, Rob Biertempfel writes. McCutchen did not play yesterday, is not in the lineup today and is not expected to play tomorrow. Starling Marte is in center field tonight, with Matt Joyce in left.

Clint Hurdle says the choice to bench McCutchen was his, not McCutchen's.

"What I've seen happen with other good players (who are struggling) is you just unplug them," Hurdle said. "I told him, ‘The manager's got to do it. I'm just asking you to sign off on it.' "

McCutchen's extremely disappointing .241/.311/.408 year is, of course, one of the main reasons the Pirates' season has been so frustrating thus far. He hit passably in April and May but has really gone downhill in the past two months, batting .202/.255/.323 in June and .247/.306/.393 in July. He singled, doubled and homered in the Pirates' 10-1 win against Seattle last Wednesday but has hit just 1-for-12 since then.