Jeff Karstens threw seven sharp innings and Brandon Wood belted a two-run homer as the Pittsburgh Pirates posted a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday for their first road interleague series win since 2003.
Rookie Alex Presley and Andrew McCutchen each drove in a run for Pittsburgh, which has won six of eight - including its first road interleague series in 18 tries. The Pirates haven’t been two games over .500 this late in a season since 1999.
Karstens (6-4) improved to 3-0 in June by limiting the powerful Blue Jays to two runs and five hits.
Toronto tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth on homers from J.P. Arencibia and Yunel Escobar, but Pittsburgh regained the lead immediately after the first three batters reached in the sixth.
Ronny Cedeno ripped an opposite-field RBI double over the head of right fielder Eric Thames to score Lyle Overbay. Wood followed by blasting a 1-0 sinker from Brett Cecil (1-3) just left of the 375-foot sign in left-center field for a 5-2 lead.
Cecil, who led the Blue Jays with 15 wins last season, struggled in his first start since returning from the minors. The lefthander allowed six runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings in his first start since April 20.