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Pirates 9, Mariners 4

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE - The red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates didn't have much need for singles night Tuesday, when they unloaded a surplus of extra-base hits and added another strong outing from starter Jeff Locke to beat the Seattle Mariners 9-4.

Pittsburgh (47-30) hit five home runs - two from leadoff hitter Starling Marte - while nine of the Pirates' 13 hits went for extra bases. Marte had multiple home runs for the first time in his career, hitting one in the second and another in the eighth to go with the triple he had to lead off Tuesday's game.

Pittsburgh had six extra-base hits in the first two innings alone, including three home runs in the second, while jumping out to a 6-0 lead. That was enough for Locke, who gave up just four hits in seven innings of work to win his seventh consecutive decision while extending the Pirates' winning streak to five games.

Locke (6-1) allowed two runs over seven innings and had a sizeable lead for most of the night. Tuesday marked his 13th consecutive start of giving up three runs or fewer, and he hasn't suffered a loss since making his season debut on April 10.

Extra-base hits were a factor in each of Pittsburgh's first nine runs on a night when Marte set the tone with a triple to lead off the game. Marte, Russell Martin and Brandon Inge all homered off Seattle starter Joe Saunders (5-8) in the five-run second inning, then Marte added a solo shot off Mariners reliever Carter Capps in the eighth. Gaby Sanchez finished off the scoring for Pittsburgh with a ninth-inning home run -- his second in three games.

Seattle's Kyle Seager led off the sixth with a solo home run off Locke, the first homer Pittsburgh's 25-year-old starter had given up since May 11, but by that time it was only enough to cut the Pittsburgh lead to five runs, at 7-2.

The Pirates added solo homers in the eighth and ninth innings to take a 9-2 lead, giving them 19 runs in their last two games and 35 during the five-game winning streak.

The Mariners' Justin Smoak hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to account for Seattle's final two runs.

Reliever Blake Beavan took over for Saunders in the second inning and allowed just one run over 4 1/3 innings of work, while struggling closer Tom Wilhelmsen had his most encouraging performance in three weeks when he struck out the side in the seventh - his only inning of work.

Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez doubled off Capps in the ninth to extend his current hitting streak to nine games. With three hits Tuesday, Marte now has 26 multiple-hit games this season. Teammate Andrew McCutchen, who went 2-for-5 Tuesday, has 24 multiple-hit games.

The Pirates pounded Seattle starter Joe Saunders for three home runs in the second inning while jumping out to a 6-0 lead.

Russell Martin led off the second with a home run and Starling Marte followed Brandon Inge's three-run homer with a solo shot as the Pirates chased Saunders from the game after just 1 2/3 innings -- his shortest outing since August 2009.

Saunders gave up five of his six hits in the inning and the six earned runs he allowed were nearly half the total he had given up (13) in seven previous Safeco Field starts this season.

Marte led off the game with a triple and scored on a Jody Mercer groundout for a 1-0 lead.

Seattle's first run came in the bottom of the second when a two-out, bloop single from Carlos Triunfel scored Raul Ibanez from second base to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 6-1.

Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke gave up three hits in the first five innings while retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced.

NOTES: The Pirates entered the game with a 7-0 record when coming off an off day. Pittsburgh had Monday off. ... The Mariners placed OF Franklin Gutierrez on the 15-day disabled list and recalled OF Dustin Ackley from Triple-A Tacoma. Ackley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft and the Opening Day starter at second base, was hitting .205 with the Mariners before being sent to Tacoma on May 26. The emergence of 2B Nick Franklin at the big-league level precipitated the move of Ackley to the outfield during his 25-game stint at Triple-A. ... Mariners OF Jason Bay (hamstring) was in the starting lineup for the first time since June 16. ... With his leadoff triple and second-inning home run, Marte continued his remarkable string of extra-base hits. His homer marked the seventh extra-base hit (four triples, two doubles and a home run) in his last 10 hits. ... Tuesday marked the fourth time in Saunders's eight-year career that he didn't make it out of the second inning. His shortest outing came in 2006, when he was pulled after retiring just two batters in the first inning of a game his team would eventually go on to win 7-6 over the Oakland A's.
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