By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH - Starling Marte had a career-high four hits and scored four times and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 12-8 on Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh starting pitcher Francisco Liriano pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of Wednesday’s game.
Neil Walker and Alex Presley homered for Pittsburgh. Jordy Mercer, Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez had three hits each as the Pirates set season highs for both runs and hits.
Francisco Liriano (5-2) survived six erratic innings to pick up the win.
Joaquin Arias knocked in three runs for the Giants and Hunter Pence doubled twice but San Francisco continued to struggle on the road. The defending World Series champions have lost 12 of 16 away from home.
Barry Zito (4-5) allowed eight runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings as his ERA on the road ballooned to 11.28.
The veteran left-hander struggled all night against Marte, Mercer and McCutchen, the top third of Pittsburgh's lineup. The trio combined to go 8 for 9 against Zito, touching the 2002 Cy Young Winner for a run in the first and keying a three-run rally in the third and a four-run outburst in the fifth.
Marte had cooled off since a strong April and entered the night just 11 for 60 (.183) in his past 16 games, dropping his batting average to .279.
He had little trouble pecking away at Zito's looping curveball, slapping three singles to set the table for a Pirates offense that appears to be rounding into form.
A night after Pittsburgh lit up San Francisco in an 8-2 win in support of rookie pitcher Gerrit Cole, the Pirates kept it going.
McCutchen hit a two-run double in the third as the Pirates took a 4-1 lead. The Giants responded to briefly to tie the game on a two-run double by Arias in the top of the fifth.
It didn't stay knotted long. Marte and Mercer led off the bottom of the inning with consecutive singles.
Marte scored on a fielder's choice and Pedro Alvarez chased Zito for good with a double off the wall in right. Walker greeted reliever Jose Mijares with a two-run single and the Pirates were in control.
Pittsburgh's lead grew to 10-4 after Presley's pinch-hit homer and an RBI double by Gaby Sanchez.