Pirates 5, Royals 3: Pittsburgh mustered only six hits but was opportunistic enough to put together a five-run fourth inning and pull within a game of National League Central-leading Cincinnati with its 11th win in 14 games.
The Pirates have won 10 of 13 at PNC Park, including the first two games of the series. Kansas City has lost three straight and five of seven.
The Royals jumped on Pirates ace James McDonald early, as Yuniesky Betancourt took him deep to left for a 2-0 lead in the third. Pitcher Vin Mazzaro made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the third.
Mazzaro (2-1) couldn't hold the lead, though, and his defense didn't help him. Mazzaro walked four in three innings of work and catcher Brayan Pena's error led to the damage in Pittsburgh's big fourth inning.
McDonald lasted just four innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Jared Hughes (2-0) pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-hit relief for the win, and Joel Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Kansas City's Eric Hosmer went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, matching his career high. … Pirates 1B Garrett Jones went 0-for-3 before being lifted in a double switch to snap his seven-game hitting streak. … The Pirates have the worst interleague record in the majors at 84-132, but are 12-13 overall and 10-7 at home against Kansas City.