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Pirates beat D-backs 6-5 for first winning streak

AP - Sports
Pirates beat D-backs 6-5 for first winning streak
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Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte (6) smiles as he celebrates with John McDonald (17) after a baseball …

PHOENIX (AP) -- Garrett Jones had three hits and two RBIs, Starling Marte drove in two runs and scored twice, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 Tuesday night for their first winning streak of the season.

Pittsburgh has snapped out of its offensive funk in the desert, winning the first two games of the series by scoring 11 runs - three more than the first six games combined.

The Pirates fell into an early hole after James McDonald (1-1) allowed four runs in the first inning, but rallied with a five-run fourth off Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy (0-1).

Pittsburgh had 11 hits, Neil Walker drove in two runs and Jason Grilli got through the ninth for his third save.

Miguel Montero drove in three runs and Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer for Arizona, which lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

McDonald lost his first start thanks to a lack of run support, losing to the Cubs despite allowing a run in seven innings.

The right-hander got off to a rough start against the Diamondbacks, walking two of the first three batters he faced before giving up a two-run double to Montero and Kubel's two-run homer to left that put Arizona up 4-1.

McDonald was sharp after that, though, holding the Diamondbacks in check until he walked Paul Goldschmidt to lead off the sixth.

McDonald allowed four runs on four hits, with five strikeouts and four walks.

Unlike his previous start, the Pirates gave McDonald some help.

Coming off a horrific injury after a line drive hit him in the head last September, McCarthy wasn't particularly sharp in his Diamondbacks debut, allowing six runs on nine hits in five-plus innings against the Cardinals on April 3. He didn't get a decision, though, after Arizona won 10-9 in 16 innings.

He needed more help from the Diamondbacks' bats after another not-so-great performance.

McCarthy gave up a run in the first inning on Jones' run-scoring single before stranding runners at second and third. He induced an inning-ending double play to escape another jam in the second, but things fell apart in the fourth, starting when Kubel misplayed a liner in right by Pedro Alvarez for an error.

Marte followed with a two-run double, Walker knocked in two more with a single - ending an 0-for-21 streak - and Jones put the Pirates up 6-4 with a run-scoring single.

McCarthy allowed six runs - four earned - and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings.

The Diamondbacks couldn't help him out this time.

Montero hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 6-5, but Mark Melancon worked a perfect eighth and Grilli got Aaron Hill on a popup after giving up a two-out to Martin Prado.

NOTES: The Diamondbacks committed two errors after making one in the first seven games. ... Arizona LHP Wade Miley will pitch Wednesday against the Pirates after a stellar opening start. The runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year last season, he allowed one run in six innings with eight strikeouts to beat the Brewers on April 5. ... LHP Jonathan Sanchez will pitch for the Pirates in the third game of the series after allowing three runs and six hits over five-plus innings in his Pirates debut against the Dodgers on Friday night.

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