PHILADELPHIA — Chad Kuhl’s fan club brought the noise.
Andrew McCutchen hit two solo homers, Kuhl pitched six effective innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Philadelphia Phillies 15-2 Thursday night.
Jordy Mercer hit a three-run homer and John Jaso and Sean Rodriguez also went deep to help the Pirates split a four-game series.
Kuhl (4-3) allowed two runs and four hits, striking out five. He retired the first 12 batters before Tommy Joseph lined a double to right-center in the fifth.
The righty grew up in nearby Delaware and more than 100 of his family, friends and acquaintances turned out to show their support. Many of them sat behind Pittsburgh’s dugout.
“It was loud,” Kuhl said.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was amused to see so much enthusiasm on the road.
“Now we know what it sounded like when Chad played Little League,” Hurdle said. “It was very entertaining. They were cheering every pitch. It was fun.”
Kuhl hid his emotions well.
“I was definitely amped up, seeing people I hadn’t seen since I was maybe 12 years old,” he said. “I was nervous. I tried to block it out.”
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff (10-14) gave up six runs — three earned — and five hits (four homers) in 6 2/3 innings.
“I feel like I let the guys down in here,” he said. “These guys are fighting. I have to live with that. That’s the most frustrating thing.”
Jaso led off the game with his sixth homer. McCutchen drove one out to center in the fourth. Rodriguez connected in the fifth to make it 3-0.
Mercer’s shot increased the Pirates’ lead to 6-2 in the seventh. McCutchen hit his 23rd homer off Frank Herrmann in the eighth.
The Pirates had seven hits and eight runs in the ninth to put the game way out of reach.
McCutchen has 174 career homers with the Pirates. He trails Barry Bonds by two for fourth place on Pittsburgh’s all-time home run list.
Dusty Wathan, who led Double-A Reading to the best record in the Eastern League this season and a second consecutive Eastern Division championship, will manage Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate, Lehigh Valley, in 2017. Wathan replaces Dave Brundage.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin plans to start Ryan Howard all three games of the season-ending home series vs. the Mets on Sept. 30-Oct. 2. The 2006 NL MVP is the last player remaining from Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series championship team. The Phillies will exercise a $10 million buyout after the season ends, so Howard is down to his final games in red pinstripes.
Former Pirates and Phillies pitcher A.J. Burnett drove from Maryland to Philadelphia to see two of his former teams. He watched the Pirates take batting practice on the field and chatted with many of his old teammates.
Pirates: RHP Ryan Vogelsong (3-5, 4.66 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series at Cincinnati. RHP Robert Stephenson (2-1, 4.43) goes for the Reds.
Phillies: LHP Adam Morgan (2-10, 5.73) takes the mound in the start of a three-game series vs. Miami. RHP Tom Koehler (9-11, 3.97) pitches for the Marlins.