While trying to get some help from James McDonald , Pittsburgh aims to make it two in a row Tuesday night.
Before arriving in Phoenix, the Pirates (2-5) were off to their worst start since losing six straight in 2006. The offense was their root of the problems, combining for eight runs while batting .119.
After combining for eight hits and two runs during a three-game sweep at the Los Angeles Dodgers over this past weekend, Pittsburgh plated three in the first inning of Monday's 5-3 victory. Travis Snider hit a two-run single in that opening frame and Andrew McCutchen had two RBIs for the second straight game.
"Once we get going, we'll get going," McCutchen said. "We're still capable of doing more, but this is a good start."
That performance spoiled Arizona's attempt to match its best seven-game start in team history from 2000. The Diamondbacks (5-2), who entered Monday's series opening averaging 7.5 runs over a four-game winning streak, will try to bounce back against McDonald (0-1, 1.29 ERA).
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his last two starts against Arizona. He gave up one run and three hits in his most recent matchup April 18 at Chase Field but lasted only four innings in a 2-1 victory.
In his season debut Thursday, McDonald allowed one run, two hits and two walks over seven innings to the Chicago Cubs but suffered a 3-2 defeat.
"He went out and he pitched a gem," McCutchen said. "You hate for guys to go out like that, go seven strong innings and get the loss but hopefully he can continue to do that and the bats will come around."
McDonald will pitch opposite Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 10.80), who allowed six runs and nine hits over five innings in Wednesday's 10-9, 16-inning win over St. Louis.
The right-hander was making his first start since taking a line drive off the side of his head on Sept. 5 while pitching for Oakland. McCarthy had to undergo surgery for life-threatening injuries that including an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture.
"It's one of the weirder starts I've had, I felt really good, I threw a lot of strikes, I just couldn't throw any good strikes," McCarthy told the team's website. "I really thought I'd hit another gear, I felt like the ball was going to go wherever I wanted it to, but it just didn't get there."
In his first start against Pittsburgh, McCarthy will try to get some help from Paul Goldschmidt , who has matched a career high by driving in at least one run in five consecutive games.
Goldschmidt has eight RBIs over that stretch and a double in each of his last four games. He's 7 for 18 with four doubles and four RBIs in his last five games against the Pirates but has never faced McDonald.
|March 26, 2013||Brandon Inge||15-Day DL||Right scapula soreness|
|March 22, 2013||Francisco Liriano||15-Day DL||Fractured right forearm|
|March 22, 2013||Charlie Morton||15-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Jeff Karstens||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|March 20, 2013||Chase d'Arnaud||60-Day DL||Left thumb surgery|
|March 31, 2013||Didi Gregorius||15-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|March 27, 2013||Willie Bloomquist||15-Day DL||Strained right intercostal|
|March 27, 2013||Willie Bloomquist||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|March 22, 2013||Cody Ross||15-Day DL||Left calf strain|
|March 22, 2013||Adam Eaton||15-Day DL||Left elbow strain|
|February 18, 2013||Daniel Hudson||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
PHOENIX (AP) -- Garrett Jones had three hits and two RBIs, Starling Marte drove in two runs and scored twice, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 Tuesday night for their first winning streak of the season.
Pittsburgh has snapped out of its offensive funk in the desert, winning the first two games of the series by scoring 11 runs - three more than the first six games combined.
The Pirates fell into an early hole after James McDonald (1-1) allowed four runs in the first inning, but rallied with a five-run fourth off Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy (0-1).
Pittsburgh had 11 hits, Neil Walker drove in two runs and Jason Grilli got through the ninth for his third save.
Miguel Montero drove in three runs and Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer for Arizona, which lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
McDonald lost his first start thanks to a lack of run support, losing to the Cubs despite allowing a run in seven innings.
The right-hander got off to a rough start against the Diamondbacks, walking two of the first three batters he faced before giving up a two-run double to Montero and Kubel's two-run homer to left that put Arizona up 4-1.
McDonald was sharp after that, though, holding the Diamondbacks in check until he walked Paul Goldschmidt to lead off the sixth.
McDonald allowed four runs on four hits, with five strikeouts and four walks.
Unlike his previous start, the Pirates gave McDonald some help.
Coming off a horrific injury after a line drive hit him in the head last September, McCarthy wasn't particularly sharp in his Diamondbacks debut, allowing six runs on nine hits in five-plus innings against the Cardinals on April 3. He didn't get a decision, though, after Arizona won 10-9 in 16 innings.
He needed more help from the Diamondbacks' bats after another not-so-great performance.
McCarthy gave up a run in the first inning on Jones' run-scoring single before stranding runners at second and third. He induced an inning-ending double play to escape another jam in the second, but things fell apart in the fourth, starting when Kubel misplayed a liner in right by Pedro Alvarez for an error.
Marte followed with a two-run double, Walker knocked in two more with a single - ending an 0-for-21 streak - and Jones put the Pirates up 6-4 with a run-scoring single.
McCarthy allowed six runs - four earned - and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings.
The Diamondbacks couldn't help him out this time.
Montero hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 6-5, but Mark Melancon worked a perfect eighth and Grilli got Aaron Hill on a popup after giving up a two-out to Martin Prado .
NOTES: The Diamondbacks committed two errors after making one in the first seven games. ... Arizona LHP Wade Miley will pitch Wednesday against the Pirates after a stellar opening start. The runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year last season, he allowed one run in six innings with eight strikeouts to beat the Brewers on April 5. ... LHP Jonathan Sanchez will pitch for the Pirates in the third game of the series after allowing three runs and six hits over five-plus innings in his Pirates debut against the Dodgers on Friday night.