PITTSBURGH (AP) — Derek Lowe remained unbeaten against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Melky Cabrera hit his first home run for Atlanta to help the Braves extend their season-best winning streak to five games with a 4-2 victory Saturday night.
After the start was delayed 92 minutes by rain, Lowe (6-4) needed 99 pitches to get through five innings but improved to 8-0 against the Pirates. He allowed two runs and five hits while walking four and striking out five.
Home runs by Cabrera and Eric Hinske off major league loss leader Charlie Morton (1-8) staked Lowe to a 3-0 lead.
Cabrera led off the second with a line drive into the right-field stands and Chipper Jones drove home a second run in the inning with a groundout.
Cabrera, acquired from the New York Yankees in an offseason trade for Javier Vazquez, raised his batting average to .210 by going 2 for 4.
Hinske made it 3-0 when he homered to right-center leading off the third.
Pittsburgh, which lost its third straight game, scored both its runs off Lowe in the fifth. Ryan Church doubled and scored on Lastings Milledge's triple to center. Ronny Cedeno drove in Milledge with a squeeze bunt.
The Braves took advantage of wildness by reliever Joel Hanrahan in the ninth to add an insurance run. Martin Prado scored on a two-out wild pitch as Brian McCann struck out but reached first base. Hanrahan had walked the bases loaded.
Pittsburgh manager John Russell was ejected by first base umpire Tim Timmons for arguing that McCann should have been called out when he reached on the wild pitch.
Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities. Four relievers combined to shut out the Pirates over the last four innings.
Church and Milledge had three hits each. Church snapped an 0-for-19 skid.
Morton gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits in six innings with three walks and three strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 8.71, the highest in the major leagues among starting pitchers with at least 20 innings.
NOTES: Pittsburgh 2B Aki Iwamura, making his first start in a week because of a hamstring injury, went 0 for 3 with two walks and extended his streak of hitless at-bats to 32. ... Atlanta SS Yunel Escobar was 0 for 4 and is 3 for 28 since a stint on the disabled list with a strained left adductor muscle in his groin.