By NATE BARNES
PITTSBURGH (AP) Edinson Volquez allowed one run in seven sharp innings and Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the first to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
Volquez (7-6) had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded in the second inning as the Pirates moved a season-high five games over .500 at 46-41. The Pirates could’ve added to the 3-0 lead but Gregory Polanco Starling Marte each flew out with men on second and third.
McCutchen followed up Friday’s game, when he was a home run shy of the cycle, with the big hit off David Buchanan. McCutchen connected after Polanco with a single.
Philadelphia dropped a season-high 13 games below .500 at 37-50.
Buchanan (4-5) found his stride after the second and kept the Pirates at bay until he was lifted in the sixth. Philadelphia’s starter was charged with three runs and six hits and a walk.
Marlon Byrd stranded five men on base in his first two at-bats. He flew out in the first to leave men on the corners, then struck on four pitches to end the third with the bases loaded.
Byrd homered off Pirates closer Mark Melancon in the ninth. But Melancon finished for his 16th save. Tony Watson worked a perfect eighth.
Cody Asche homered in the fourth for Philadelphia against Volquez.
Volquez allowed four hits and walked four. He struck out five in his third straight win.
NOTES Asche’s home run in the fourth inning snapped a 16-inning scoreless streak for Volquez. . In their last 14 starts, Pittsburgh’s starting pitchers have combined to post a 2.32 ERA. . Pittsburgh SS Jordy Mercer doubled twice and is batting .714 (10 for 14) in his last five games. . Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (1-1, 3.46 ERA) faces Phillies RHP A.J. Burnett (5-7, 3.92 ERA) when Pittsburgh and Philadelphia conclude their three-game series Sunday.
Updated July 5, 2014
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