Seattle, WA – Starling Marte belted two of Pittsburgh's five home runs, and the Pirates defeated the Seattle Mariners, 9-4, in the opener of a two-game set at Safeco Field.
Brandon Inge had a three-run home run. Russell Martin and Gaby Sanchez each hit solo shots for the Pirates, who are on a five-game winning streak.
Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke (7-1) was solid through seven innings. The lefty gave up two runs on four hits and walked two batters.
Justin Smoak had a two-run homer while Kyle Seager hit a solo shot for the Mariners.
Starter Joe Saunders (5-8) lasted just 1 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since Aug. 7, 2009, as a member of the Angels. He surrendered six runs, including three home runs.
Marte started the game with a triple to right and scored on a ground out by Jordy Mercer.
An inning later, Pittsburgh scored five runs off three home runs. Martin hammered a 3-1 pitch to center to lead off.
After Pedro Alvarez struck out, Tony Sanchez singled and Neil Walker drew a walk, setting up Inge's three-run smash to left. Marte followed with a homer shot on the first pitch given to him to make it a 6-0 game.
In the home half, Raul Ibanez hit a leadoff single to right and scored on Carlos Triunfel's two-out base hit up the middle.
Pittsburgh extended its lead in the sixth, when Mercer's two-out infield single plated Inge, who ripped a double to center.
Seager crushed a 2-1 pitch into the stands in right to begin the home half, but the Pirates had a home run in each of the final two innings. Marte hit a solo shot in the eighth while Sanchez nailed a 2-0 pitch to center off Carter Capps in the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Bryan Morris pitched for Pittsburgh. He got two quick outs, before walking Jason Bay. Smoak then smashed a 2-2 pitch that sailed into the stands in right.
However, it was not enough. Duke Welker entered from the bullpen and Mike Zunino flew out to left to end the game.
Saunders entered the game 10-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 16 career starts at Safeco Field ... Marte had his first career multi-home run game ... Alvarez is on a nine-game hitting streak ... Locke has given up just three earned runs over 26 2/3 innings in his last four starts ... This series marks just the second time since interleague play began in 1997 that the Pirates play in Seattle. Pittsburgh won the first game on June 19, 2007, but the Mariners won on June 20 and 21.