PITTSBURGH -- J.A. Happ looked like a rookie on the key pitch of the game, and Garrett Jones didn't. The result was the National League's best first-year pitcher was beaten by arguably its best first-year hitter, and the Pirates pulled off another surprising comeback against the Phillies.
Jones hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning against Happ, fellow rookie Andrew McCutchen also went deep and the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for the second time in three nights to beat the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 on Thursday night.Charlie Morton shook off a rough first inning to limit the Phillies to two runs over six innings, Denny Bautista (1-0) pitched two shutout relief innings in only his second appearance of the season and Matt Capps earned a save after struggling in two previous appearances against the Phillies this season.Happ (10-3), who lost for the first time in four decisions, was cruising following McCutchen's drive into the center field shrubbery leading off the first. The left-hander allowed only four more hits over the next six innings and only once pitched with multiple runners on base."He pitched too good a game to lose," manager Charlie Manuel said.Somehow, he did.After pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno singled to start the eighth, Happ -- who threw 114 pitches -- quickly got the next two batters on fly balls. Jones then drove a 1-1 fastball over the center-field wall to give the Pirates the lead and prevent Happ from becoming the first Phillies rookie to win 11 games since Bob Walk in 1980."He made one mistake and I was happy I didn't miss it," said Jones, who grounded out his first three times up. "He left it belt-high and I tried to stay short [with the swing] and stay on top of the ball."Happ felt the game was under control and was frustrated at allowing an evening's worth of mostly good pitching to squandered with one bad pitch."This is really frustrating for me," Happ said. "Maybe I rushed myself a little bit and he got to it. I felt fine. I felt like it was my game. I could taste it, but that's the way it is. I made a mistake and I paid for it."Jones has been quite a find for the Pirates after being cast off by the Twins, hitting .291 while anchoring the middle of the order following the trades of Nate McLouth, Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez. His 15 homers lead NL rookies and his 11 homers in July topped all major leaguers.The Phillies still own a seven-game lead in the NL East, but they won only one of three in cross-state Pittsburgh and needed Ryan Howard's three-run homer in the 10th inning to beat the Pirates 4-1.Capps had two terrible outings earlier against the Phillies, allowing five runs in one-third of an inning to lose 8-7 on July 11 and two runs in the ninth to blow a save Tuesday, although the Pirates came back to win 6-4 on McCutchen's two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. On Thursday, Capps allowed one hit while converting his 24th save in 28 opportunities.The Pirates rallied in the ninth against the Phillies' bullpen each of the previous two nights, with Brandon Moss tying Wednesday's game with a pinch-hit homer, but they came back this time against one of their starters.McCutchen's homer, his ninth, tied it at 1 after Morton managed to give up only one run in the first after the Phils had Howard at the plate with the bases loaded and none out."It was one of those situations where you look around and it's like, 'Uh, oh,' but I made some pitches and kind of settled myself down a little bit," said Morton, who gave up five hits and two runs in six innings, striking out six.
Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins ranged far to his left to make a diving stop behind second base of Morton's grounder in the fifth and threw out the pitcher by a step. ... At least one home run was hit in the first inning in all three games. Rollins led off Tuesday's game with a homer, and Utley went deep on Wednesday. ... The Pirates went 7-2 on a nine-game homestand against the Brewers, Reds and Phillies that began with five consecutive victories.