Michael McKenry had a career-best four hits and drove in two runs, Neil Walker and Garrett Jones each added two RBIs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins, 7-4, on Saturday night.
McKenry, who came into the night batting .191, raised his average 26 points with a double and three singles. Walker added three hits for the Pirates, the NL wild-card leaders who set the tone with three first-inning runs against Miami’s Tom Koehler (2-6).
Charlie Morton (3-2) allowed a season-high nine hits in five innings, still finding a way to win consecutive starts for the first time since May 2011.
Mark Melancon worked the ninth for his fourth save. Koehler gave up nine hits and five runs in five innings.
Logan Morrison tied a season-high with three hits, Giancarlo Stanton also had three hits, and Christian Yelich added a pair for the Marlins, who are 3-35 when allowing at least five runs.
McKenry was a most improbable catalyst of that attack. The light-hitting catcher came into the night with four hits in 32 at-bats, and only three hits in July.
But his RBI single capped a three-run first inning — Pittsburgh’s highest-scoring opening frame since June 18 — and he added another single in the third to push the Pirates’ lead to 5-1. He added a double in the fifth, a single in the seventh and grounded to short to open the ninth.
Walker and Garrett Jones each drove in two runs for Pittsburgh.
By the time Koehler had thrown five pitches, the Pirates were up 1-0.