James McDonald was uneven in losing his first start since June. Cliff Lee reachd double digits in whiffs and pitched into the eighth inning on a night when Hunter Pence made his Philadelphia debut. Pittsburgh lost 7-4 and lost groung to Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee.
Philadelphia played long ball early against McDonald. Ryan Howard hit a solo homer in the second. Jimmy Rollins did likewise in the third. After the homer from Rollins, Shane Victorino singled and stole second. Chase Utley walked and Howard doubled for his second RBI of the game.
In the fourth the Pirates got two back. Brandon Wood singled and Pedro Alvarez poked one over the fence to put two on the board against Lee.
But Philadelphia wasted litle time in getting it back. In the bottom of the fourth Lee singled with one out. Rollins singled and Steve Pearce committed an error that allowed Lee to score. Howard followed with a single and his third RBI of the game and the Phillies led 5-2.
Carlos Ruiz (seventh) and Pence (eighth) added late RBIs. The Pirates chased Lee from the game in the eighth. Neil Walker and Wood hit RBI singles. Antonio Bastardo relieved Lee and struck out Alvarez to end the threat. Ryan Madsen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
McDonald allowed five runs in five innings. He struck out five but allowed ten hits and walked two. Lee went 7-2/3 and was charged with four runs. Pittsburgh collected eight hits and two walks. He whiffed eleven.
Walker had three hits. Wood and Pedro Ciriaco each had two.
Bucs hit double digits in strikeouts.
Michael McKenry donned the Golden Sombrero.
Lee is 1-0 against Pittsburgh after two career starts. McDonald falls to 0-2 against Philadelphia.
This was the second straight game Ciriaco had multiple hits.
Howard collected four hits, including the 1,000th of his career. This was Howard’s ninth career four hit game and the second time he has done it in July.