Pittsburgh, PA – Garrett Jones and Neil Walker combined for seven RBI and they hit back-to-back homers off the right field foul pole in the fourth inning, pacing Pittsburgh to an 11-2 rout of Houston in the opener of a four-game series.
Jones had four hits and knocked in four runs, while Walker ended with three RBI. Andrew McCutchen, who was named the NL's top player for June, went 4- for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored as the Pirates won for the fifth time in six games.
Casey McGehee ended 3-for-5 with two runs driven in an 18-hit attack for the Pirates.
James McDonald (8-3) was stellar on the mound, allowing four hits and a pair of runs over seven innings.
Scott Moore homered for Houston, which lost its fifth in a row overall and seventh straight on the road.
Jordan Lyles (2-5) surrendered nine hits and seven runs, while fanning six over four-plus innings. The 21-year-old right-hander has yet to win on the road (0-7) in his major league career in 16 games (14 starts).
"I threw pitches I wanted to throw. They were just the better team tonight," Lyles said.
Jose Altuve scored on a J.D. Martinez single to right in the top of the first, and the Astros threatened to widen the lead in the fourth. With the bases full, McGehee made a nice defensive play at third when Altuve hit into a force play to end the inning.
The Pirates scored four times in both the fourth and fifth innings to take control. McCutchen singled to lead off the fourth and Jones followed with a homer. Walker then hit a towering fly off the same pole for a 3-1 difference.
"We took some better swings. When a mistake was made we seemed to get on it," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
McGehee doubled to right and scored on a Clint Barmes base hit to center.
McCutchen and Jones each had RBI doubles in the fifth, and McGehee laced a two-run double off Rhiner Cruz later in the inning with the ball glancing off the glove of right fielder Brian Bogusevic.
Moore homered to right in the sixth, but Jones legged out a bases-loaded infield hit on a check-swing roller toward third in the bottom of the inning. The hit off Fernando Abad broke Jones' 0-for-24 string against lefties going back to last season.
Walker capped the rout with a two-run double off the wrist of a leaping Bogusevic in the eighth.
The Bucs have won nine of their last 11 home games...Pittsburgh has homered in 10 straight games, the longest streak for the club since Sept. 19-28, 2005...McDonald, who has won three straight starts, hasn't allowed more than seven hits in any of his appearances this year...Pittsburgh went 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position.