By Michael Bennett
Jameson Taillon struck out a career-best nine in five innings, Andrew McCutchen hit a pair of solo homers and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 3-0.
Taillon (5-2) allowed four hits and four relievers finished off the six-hitter. The right-hander is 3-1 in five starts since returning from surgery for testicular cancer.
McCutchen ripped his 15th homer to left in the sixth, one pitch after a high-and-tight fastball from Mark Leiter Jr. (1-1) knocked him down. He connected off Ricardo Pinto in the eighth, sending a drive off the facing of the upper deck in left.
Leiter gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“I was just trying to keep the team in the game,” Leiter said. “I made a few mistakes, but overall I think I did OK. I was trying to force contact as much as I could.”
The Pirates jumped in front on John Jaso’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the third. Jaso hit a shallow fly, but center fielder Odubel Herrera’s throw to the plate was weak and offline. Josh Harrison was caught trying to advance to third on the play, ending the inning.
The Phillies had a runner on third with less than two outs three times, but couldn’t score. After Freddy Galvis doubled and stole third in the first, Taillon struck out Aaron Altherr and retired Maikel Franco on a grounder.
Taillon fanned Andrew Knapp and Leiter with runners on first and third to end the fourth.
Juan Nicasio relieved Tony Watson with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh and got Altherr to ground into a double play .
A 22-minute rain delay held things up in the bottom of the eighth. Felipe Riveropitched out of trouble in the ninth for his fourth save in four tries.
“The inconsistency in the middle of our lineup is one of our biggest issues,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.