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Pirates down Phils with another rally

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pittsburgh Pirates are fast becoming the comeback kids.

Pinch-hitter Garrett Jones doubled home two runs in a three-run eighth inning Thursday afternoon and the Pirates rallied for the second straight day to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4.

Gaby Sanchez homered and drove in three runs for the Pirates, who erased a 3-1 deficit as they had in Wednesday's 5-3 win. Pittsburgh took the final three games of the four-game series, and has won 10 of its last 13 overall.

Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown drove in two runs apiece for the Phillies, who have lost eight of 11 after a 3-5 homestand.

"To come over here and do what we did, it's something that's uplifting," Sanchez said.

It was the third time this season the Pirates have won when trailing after seven innings. Besides Wednesday's game, they had also done it April 14 against Cincinnati. They have outscored their opponents 34-12 from the seventh inning on this season.

"It feels good," Jones said. "It's a confidence-booster."

It's something else for the Phillies.

"Right now, we're in a bad turmoil, or whatever you want to call it," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're in a period right now where we're not playing good at all."

With the score tied at 3 and one out in the eighth, Phils reliever Phillippe Aumont (1-3) hit Clint Barmes with a pitch. Travis Snider and Starling Marte followed with singles to load the bases.

Jones, batting for Brandon Inge, ripped a 3-and-1 pitch from Aumont -- a 93 mph fastball -- off the right-field fence for a double, making the score 5-3. The day before, Inge had batted for Jones and singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth.

"Bases loaded, one out, I'm just trying to drive something to the outfield," Jones said. "I wasn't trying to do too much, just get a run on the board."

It was his 10th hit in 25 career at-bats with the bases full, a .400 average, and gave him 28 RBI in such situations.

Chad Durbin relieved Aumont, and after intentionally walking Andrew McCutcheon, gave up a sacrifice fly to Sanchez, who went 2 for 4 in the game.

Justin Wilson (2-0) worked two hitless innings to pick up the win in relief for the Pirates. Tony Watson allowed a run in the eighth but pitched around a leadoff double in the ninth for his first save.

Brown's two-out bloop double off Pirates starter James McDonald in the fourth chased home Chase Utley with the game's first run. Utley led off with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch.

Sanchez, who entered the game 1 for 8 against Cliff Lee, ripped a fastball into the center-field seats for a sixth-inning home run, tying the score at 1. It was the third homer of the season for Sanchez, all of them coming in the last eight games.

The Phils scored twice in the sixth, on Howard's RBI single and Brown's sacrifice fly, but the Pirates answered with two in the seventh. With two outs and Marte at first, McCutcheon ended an 0-for-17 slump with a single. Sanchez followed with another single, driving in Marte to make it 3-2.

Manuel then visited the mound with Lee at 114 pitches and Aumont and Raul Valdes warming up in the bullpen. But Lee stayed in the game, and backup catcher Michael McKenry lined an 0-and-2 change-up to center to score the tying run.

"I felt like he needed to stay out there because we were short in the bullpen," Manuel said. "At the same time, he would have stayed in anyway."

Lee, who threw 122 pitches (82 for strikes), allowed 10 hits and three runs in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

NOTES: Before surrendering the three eighth-inning runs, Aumont hadn't been scored upon in 13 career appearances in Citizens Bank Park, a span of 13 2/3 innings. ... McDonald yielded five hits and three runs in five innings. He struck out four and walked three. ... Marte went 2 for 5 and has hit safely in five straight games and 15 of his last 17. He also scored two runs. ... Manuel was ejected in the ninth for arguing an interference call, his first ejection of the season.
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