McCutchen came into the game hitting .538 in the postseason but looked at a 97 mph fastball for strike three in the first. Marlon Byrd, Pittsburgh's most consistent player since being acquired from the Mets in late August, watched a full-count heater in the second that sent him walking back to the dugout in disbelief.

It was a look repeated time and again by Byrd and the rest of his baffled teammates. Wacha struck out five of the first seven batters.

"He went out and hit his spots and it seemed like everything we were hitting, we were just missing, just missing," McCutchen said.

Martin remained Pittsburgh's lone baserunner until the eighth. Wacha fell behind 3-1 and Alvarez hit a 93 mph fastball at the knees onto the concourse in right-center.

The jolt, however, faded when Molina nailed Harrison at second minutes later to set up a 24th — and final — meeting between two teams that have been shadowing each other all summer and into the fall.

NOTES: Wacha was the 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He earned his first major league win on June 11. ... A.J. Burnett pitched Game 1 for Pittsburgh, but manager Clint Hurdle picked Cole to move ahead and start Game 5.