Pirates 11, Astros 2: Garrett Jones drove in four runs while falling a triple shy of the cycle as host Pittsburgh opened the four-game series with its fifth win in six contests.
Jones and Andrew McCutchen each had four hits and scored three times, Neil Walker homered and drove in three runs and Casey McGehee went 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Pirates, whose 18 hits fell one shy of their season high.
Jones ignited a four-run fourth inning with a two-run homer, his 11th of the season, and Walker followed with his fifth blast. McCutchen and Jones hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the fifth and McGehee plated two with a two-base hit two batters later for an 8-1 lead.
After Scott Moore hit a solo shot in the sixth for Houston, Jones delivered an RBI single in the bottom half. Walker capped the scoring in the eighth with a two-run double.
James McDonald (8-3) allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings en route to his sixth win in seven decisions. The right-hander walked five and struck out four.
Jordan Lyles (2-5) lasted four innings for Houston, surrendering seven runs and nine hits while striking out six.
J.D. Martinez drove in a run and recorded two of the five hits by the Astros, who have lost five in a row.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Pirates catcher Michael McKenry went 0-for-3, ending his seven-game hitting streak. ... Pittsburgh has won four of five at PNC Park and owns a 24-13 record at home, the best mark in the National League. ... The Astros fell to a major league-worst 9-29 on the road.