Aaron Harang provided a big boost to the back end of the Mariners rotation Tuesday, allowing just two earned runs on five hits over six innings, but Seattle’s offense couldn’t come up with any run support, scratching out just five hits off six Pittsburgh pitchers in what became a 4-1 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.
The Mariners (15-19) lost their second in a row after starting their five-game road trip through Toronto and Pittsburgh 2-0. Harang is 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA.
The Pirates manufactured a pair of runs in the first inning on a pair of RBI doubles by Travis Snider and Andrew McCutchen. Seattle bats were silent until the seventh inning when Raul Ibanez doubled, scoring Dustin Ackley, who singled.
The 2-1 Pittsburgh advantage held until the eighth inning when Garrett Jones launched a two-run homer off reliever Carter Capps to put the game out of Seattle’s reach.
RHP James McDonald was scheduled to start against the Mariners, but the Pirates placed him on the disabled list just hours before the game due to stiffness in his shoulder. The start was given to Jeanmar Gomez, who did not allow an earned run on two hits in his 5.0 innings of work.
McCutchen had a four-hit night, while scoring a run, driving in one and stealing a base.
The Mariners conclude the road trip Wednesday morning when Felix Hernandez (4-2, 1.60) makes his eighth start for Seattle. He opposes A.J. Burnett, who has won three in a row for Pittsburgh.
After taking Thursday off, the Mariners return to Safeco Field Friday to start a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics. After that, the Mariners have a nine-game road trip that starts in New York.
NOTES: Brendan Ryan, demoted two weeks ago, got the start at shortstop and went 0-for-2, his average dropping to .137 . . . Michael Morse, who leads Seattle with eight home runs, went 0-for-4 and is batting .226.