PITTSBURGH — Aaron Harang pitched into the ninth inning for his first win in five weeks, and Justin Upton hit a three-run home run and drove in five runs as the streaking Atlanta Braves routed the sliding Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.
Harang (10-7) helped the Braves win their fifth straight game and send the Pirates to their seventh consecutive loss. The right-hander worked 8 1/3 innings before being pulled after first baseman Ike Davis hit an RBI single on his 114th pitch.
Harang allowed three runs while walking none and striking out four as he won for the first time since July 10 against the Mets at New York. The Braves had lost in each of Harang’s last six starts, though his personal record was 0-1 in that span.
Upton’s homer in the third inning, his 24th of the season, put the Braves ahead 4-0 and ran his hitting streak to 10 games. The left fielder added a two-run single in a five-run fifth that extended the lead to 10-1.
The loss spoiled the return of Pirates center fielder and 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, who went 0-for-4. He was activated from the disabled list before the game after being out since Aug. 4 with a fracture in his lower left ribcage.
Upton was one of five Braves with two hits along with right fielder Jason Heyward, first baseman Freddie Freeman, catcher Evan Gattis and center fielder B.J. Upton.
Heyward also drove in three runs. Gattis hit his 19th homer, a solo shot off rookie reliever Brandon Cumpton in the ninth inning.
Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano (3-10) was tagged for nine runs (seven earned) and seven hits in four-plus innings. He had three walks and four strikeouts.
Pirates right fielder Travis Snider extended his hitting streak to 10 games as he had two hits, as did catcher Russell Marte and left fielder Starling Marte.
Harang helped his own cause by driving in the game’s first run with a first-inning single.
Justin Upton then blasted his three-run home run in the third, his 24th of the season, after second baseman Phil Gosselin and Freeman opened the inning with singles.
The Braves increased their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning when B.J. Upton led off with a double and scored on Heyward’s singled.
The Pirates got a run in the bottom of the fourth as Snider hit a leadoff double and scored on second baseman Neil Walker’s ground out.
The Braves turned the game into a rout with a five-run fifth in which they sent 10 men to the plate, chased Liriano and upping their lead to 10-1. B.J. Upton singled in a run before and Heyward and Justin Upton each hit two-run singles.
Cumpton had his first career RBI in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out single.
NOTES: Pirates INF/OF Michael Martinez was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to open a roster spot for CF Andrew McCutchen, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list after being out since Aug. 4 with a fracture in his lower left ribcage. … Pittsburgh SS Jordy Mercer returned to the lineup after being limited to pinch-hitting duty in the previous four games because of a strained right forearm. … Braves RHP Shea Simmons, who has been on the DL since July 27 with a strained right shoulder, will make a third rehab appearance Wednesday for Triple-A Gwinnett then be evaluated. … Atlanta LHP Alex Wood (9-9, 3.07 ERA) will start Wednesday night against Pittsburgh RHP Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.78 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series.