PITTSBURGH(AP) Waived three times in the offseason,
couldn't help but have fun in his first major league start in 22 months.
The 27-year-old right-hander went six innings for his first major league win and the
got home runs from three unlikely power sources in a 5-3 victory over the
Kansas City Royals
on Friday night.
Vasquez (1-0), recalled by the Pirates after Thursday's game to make his first start since Aug. 31, 2007, allowed two runs
and four hits while striking out seven.
''It was so much fun,'' said Vasquez, who spent last season with Detroit's Triple-A affiliate before being claimed - and later
left exposed on waivers - by Boston and San Diego then finally sticking with the Pirates in a three-month span this winter.
''It's great to get an another opportunity up here after being with three teams in the offseason,'' he said. ''It was nice
to know three different teams liked me and wanted to have me on a roster, and I ended up here, and I'm really happy with this
clubhouse and the front office and teammates and coaches.''
Vasquez worked quickly and threw strikes - 66 among 99 pitches. Only once this season in 14 Triple-A starts had he struck
out at least seven.
''I don't want to say he's a strikeout pitcher,'' Pirates manager
said, ''but he was getting ahead of hitters, and when you're ahead of hitters, he has enough he can strike them out.''
homered for Pittsburgh, which has won three straight since snapping a five-game losing streak.
hit his ninth homer and
went 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Royals, who have lost seven of nine.
converted his 11th consecutive save opportunity and 17th overall with a shaky ninth. After getting two quick outs, Capps allowed
Teahen's solo homer, then committed a fielding error and gave up a single to Olivo.
struck out looking with the tying runs aboard.
Morgan, Jaramillo and Wilson had combined for five home runs in 579 at-bats this season heading into Friday's game for a punchless
offense that ranked 26th in the majors in homers.
''I guess it was a day for the little guys,'' Morgan said.
Morgan's homer was his second in nine games after going 145 games in his career with only one. It came off Royals starter
aboard and one out in the third.
The next inning Jaramillo hit his third homer into the same section in right field.
''I certainly feel good at the plate right now,'' said Jaramillo, who homered Wednesday. ''I feel comfortable, and I know
a lot of the guys do.''
Wilson added a solo shot to left in the sixth, his third of the season and second in seven games.
''Everybody can hit homers - it's just sometimes you don't have to swing for it,'' Wilson said. ''For guys like us, it's more
like a line drive that you get under it a little bit. It's nice to be able to get power from unexpected sources.''
Pittsburgh's speed contributed to taking a 4-2 lead in the fifth. McCutchen led off with a walk and stole second. Morgan then
reached on a bunt single, with McCutchen going to third.
followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
Meche (4-7) was charged with four runs, five hits and three walks in five innings. He allowed nine runs in 3 1-3 innings in
his most recent start.
''I didn't feel real smooth out there,'' Meche said. ''Tonight was terrible. I just didn't feel great, didn't have good arm
speed, didn't locate. It was pretty much the same story as the last start.''
NOTES: Despite scoring two runs, McCutchen's hitting streak ended at 13 games - the longest by a rookie this season. McCutchen
had hit safely in all but two of his previous 20 games in the majors. ... Pittsburgh has won eight of 10 and nine of 12 at
home. ... Vasquez was 0-1 in five games, three starts, with Detroit in 2007.