PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Philadelphia grabbed a 2-0 lead on the Pirates after the first inning on solo home runs by Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz.
Eleven runs and 14 hits later, Pittsburgh (39-35) claimed victory, 11-7.
Pirates catcher Michael McKenry went 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the Buccos to the win. He started for the second straight night in place of Rod Barajas, who is out with a bone bruise in his leg.
In his absence, McKenry has gone 7 for 11 with two home runs and six RBIs. He followed up Philadelphia’s first inning shots with a three-run home run in the top of the second inning for a 3-2 Pirates lead.
They wouldn’t trail the rest of the way.
Casey McGehee homered in the fourth, followed by a James McDonald RBI single for a 5-2 lead.
Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and McKenry all hit RBI singles in the fifth inning, pushing the lead to 8-2.
McDonald, who allowed four runs on six hits on 5 2/3 innings, got into trouble in the sixth. Hunter Pence hit an RBI double and Shane Victorino followed with an RBI single to close the gap to 8-4, forcing McDonald from the game.
Reliever Jared Hughes came in and closed out the inning, but he got into trouble in the seventh, allowing a triple to Jimmy Rollins that scored one. Tony Watson relieved Hughes and surrendered two runs of his own and the Phillies (36-41) were just one run away from tying the game, 8-7.
That’s when Brad Lincoln came in and, with no outs and runners on first and second, struck out Hunter Pence, got Victorino to fly out and then struck out Jim Thome to end the inning.
Lincoln’s shut-down performance was the turning point of the game, and it clearly lifted the Pirates.
Drew Sutton hit and RBI double in the top of the eighth and Andrew McCutchen followed with a two-run homer, his 14th of the season, for an 11-7 Pittsburgh lead.
Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to end the game.