Phillies fall behind early in 3-2 loss to Pirates

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm •  Published: July 5, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies have had trouble all season when trailing in games.

Falling behind right away Saturday was no different.

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the first inning and starter Edinson Volquez had an RBI groundout in the second, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 3-2.

"We haven't been able to bounce back from being down early in the game," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It's been different when we've scored early. It's something we're going to have to try and do, score earlier in games."

Cody Asche and Marlon Byrd each homered but Philadelphia dropped a season-high 13 games below .500 at 37-50.

Philadelphia had chances to score early but Byrd stranded five men on base in his first two at-bats.

He flew out in the first to leave men on the corners, then struck on four pitches to end the third with the bases loaded.

"I have to do a better job producing in the first at-bat, too" Byrd said. "Bases loaded and I struck out. My job is to produce. Just producing in the ninth inning isn't going to get it done. You've got to produce earlier in the game, too."

Asche got the Phillies on the board in the fourth but they couldn't do anything else against Pittsburgh right-hander Edinson Volquez. He allowed just one run in seven sharp innings.

"He battled," manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a very, I thought, gritty performance by him today because he spent a lot of time out of the stretch again."

Volquez (7-6) also had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded in the second inning as the Pirates moved a season-high five games over .500 at 46-41. The Pirates could've added to the 3-0 lead but Gregory Polanco Starling Marte each flew out with men on second and third.

McCutchen followed up Friday's game, when he was a home run shy of the cycle, with the big hit off David Buchanan. McCutchen connected to right after Polanco led off the home first with a single.

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