By Sam Bush

Andrew McCutchen hit two solo homers, Chad Kuhl pitched six effective innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 15-2 last night at the Linc.

Jordy Mercer hit a three-run homer and John Jaso and Sean Rodriguez also went deep to help the Pirates split a four-game series.

Kuhl (4-3) allowed two runs and four hits, striking out five. He retired the first 12 batters before Tommy Joseph lined a double to right-center in the fifth.

The righty grew up in nearby Delaware and more than 100 of his family, friends and acquaintances turned out to show their support. Many of them sat behind Pittsburgh’s dugout.

“It was loud,” Kuhl said.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was amused to see so much enthusiasm on the road.

“Now we know what it sounded like when Chad played Little League,” Hurdle said. “It was very entertaining. They were cheering every pitch. It was fun.”

Kuhl hid his emotions well.

“I was definitely amped up, seeing people I hadn’t seen since I was maybe 12 years old,” he said. “I was nervous. I tried to block it out.”

Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff (10-14) gave up six runs — three earned — and five hits (four homers) in 6 2/3 innings.

“I feel like I let the guys down in here,” he said. “These guys are fighting. I have to live with that. That’s the most frustrating thing.”

Jaso led off the game with his sixth homer. McCutchen drove one out to center in the fourth. Rodriguez connected in the fifth to make it 3-0.

Mercer’s shot increased the Pirates’ lead to 6-2 in the seventh. McCutchen hit his 23rd homer off Frank Herrmann in the eighth.

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