PITTSBURGH - James McDonald pitched six dominant inning and Gaby Sanchez hit a tiebreaking two-run home run Saturday night to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
In quite a contrast to his previous start, McDonald (2-2) struck out nine while allowing only one run on two hits. McDonald was tagged for eight runs in 1 2/3 innings on Monday in a loss to St. Louis.
Sanchez's first home run of the season broke a 1-1 tie and capped a three-run sixth. Paul Maholm (3-1) carried a two-hit shutout into the inning and had not allowed a run in 25 1/3 innings this season.
Atlanta (13-4), which has the best record in the major leagues, lost consecutive games for the first this season.
Pittsburgh (9-8) won for the sixth time in eight games and got above .500 for the first time this season.