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updated: 7/2/2012 10:33 PM

Jones, Walker homer, Pirates beat Astros 11-2

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Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Garrett Jones and Neil Walker hit back-to-back homers off the right-field foul pole to ignite Pittsburgh's offense and the Pirates beat the Houston Astros 11-2 on Monday night.

James McDonald pitched seven effective innings for Pittsburgh, which won for the fifth time in six games.

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Limited to one hit over the first three innings by Jordan Lyles, the first five Pirates of the fourth inning had hits, highlighted by Jones' two-run homer and Walker's solo shot.

Each clanged off the right-field foul pole, Jones' on a line drive and Walker's a high fly. According to STATS LLC., there have not been back-to-back home runs off the foul pole since at least 2000, which is the first season foul-pole home runs were tracked.

Jones finished the game with four hits and four RBIs, and Andrew McCutchen also went 4 for 5 for the Pirates, whose 16-5 home record since May 12 is the best in the majors.

Scott Moore homered and J.D. Martinez had two hits for Houston, which has lost five consecutive and seven in a row on the road.

McDonald (8-3) won for the eighth time in his past 10 decisions, improving to 4-1 at home despite a season-high five walks. He was charged with two runs on four hits with four strikeouts.

The Pirates hit back-to-back home runs for the fifth time this season and third in the past five games. Jones' homer was his 11th of the season and fourth in his past 11 games.

Jones added an RBI double in the fifth and an RBI infield single in the sixth off of Fernando Abad -- Jones' first hit against a left-hander in a span of 25 at bats dating to August of last season.

Walker's home run was his fourth of the season.

The Pirates have homered in a season high 10 straight games and have 52 runs over their past six games. It took them their first 22 games to score their 50th run of the season.

Casey McGehee followed Walker's homer with a double to right -- one of three hits for McGehee -- and Clint Barmes drove him in with a single to make it 4-1.

The next inning went much the same way for Lyles (2-5). Drew Sutton led off with a triple and McCutchen drove him in with a double and scored on Jones' double. Two batters later, McGehee's two-run double scored Jones and Walker.

McCutchen was playing for the first time since spraining his wrist diving for a ball Saturday in St. Louis. A day after being named to the NL All-star team, fans chanted "M-V-P" during his final at bat.

Houston took advantage of three McDonald walks in the first, taking a 1-0 lead when J.D. Martinez drove in Jose Altuve with a single.

Moore hit his first home run since being promoted from Triple-A last week in the sixth.

The Astros have scored eight runs in their past six games.

Notes: C Rod Barajas was a late scratch for Pittsburgh. He has played only once in the past week since sustaining a left knee bone bruise. ... Pittsburgh 3B Pedro Alvarez did not play a day after leaving a game in St. Louis with leg cramps. Manager Clint Hurdle said he was available to pinch hit. ... ... Astros 1B Carlos Lee politely declined to speak to reporters the day after the Dodgers reportedly pulled out of a trade that would have acquired him when he stalled in giving his approval. ... Tuesday Pirates starter RHP A.J. Burnett has won each of his past eight starts. The previous outing he did not win was a no-decision May 13 at home against Houston in which Pittsburgh won the game in 12 innings.

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