Wild Card-holding Bucs' win streak snapped

Pirates take early lead, but Philadelphia pulls ahead in the seventh

Wild Card-holding Bucs' win streak snapped

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pirates have lost just twice in the past six games, and both times Edinson Volquez has watched the game-deciding run cross the plate from the dugout in games in which he started.

The latest example came Tuesday when the Phillies edged the playoff-hopeful Bucs, 4-3, at Citizens Bank Park, snapping a four-game winning streak for a team that has not strung together five consecutive victories in 2014. The Pirates, however, maintained their 1 1/2-game lead for the second spot in the National League Wild Card standings as the Brewers and Braves both lost on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh -- which stayed 4 1/2 games behind St. Louis in the NL Central -- owned a 3-2 lead against the Phillies after 4 1/2 innings, but the Bucs could not hold onto it. Freddy Galvis was a thorn in the Pirates' side all night, and his fifth-inning homer off Volquez tied the game.

The Phillies took the lead in the seventh on Maikel Franco's RBI single, which scored Galvis. This came after Volquez was replaced by Justin Wilson after throwing 92 pitches.

Volquez was lifted after 82 pitches and a zero on the scoreboard for the Cardinals in the seventh inning of his last outing, a game the Pirates lost, 1-0. The 31-year-old right-hander was clearly frustrated after Tuesday's game.

"I threw 82 in my last one before this one, and I threw [92] today," Volquez said. "I was more than ready to go [in the seventh inning]."

Volquez did not have his sharpest outing of the season, and he was charged with three earned runs, surrendered six hits, struck out five and walked a pair. The first Phillies run of the night was much more due to a defensive lapse, as Neil Walker lost a Franco popup in the air, and it fell behind him and in front of right fielder Gregory Polanco for a double. Franco scored on a Chase Utley single.

Galvis, who entered with five hits and a .276 OPS in 59 at-bats on the season, started his 3-for-3 night with a double in the second inning, and he scored on an RBI single from Phillies starter David Buchanan. Volquez got in another jam in the sixth when he hit Utley and walked Domonic Brown, but he kept the game tied by striking out the side, his punchout of Carlos Ruiz being his final pitch of the night.

"That's what I try to do every time I go out there," Volquez said of giving his team a chance to win. "I left a couple of pitches over the plate. Galvis hit a homer and the pitcher hit the single through the middle."

Volquez threw 27 pitches in the sixth inning, including 10 to Brown, and was pinch-hit for in the top of the seventh with the pitcher's spot due up second in the inning.

"That last inning I think he threw close to 30 pitches, 27, 28 pitches," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He had the punchout to end the inning. He continues to compete and gives us a chance to win."

Galvis came within a triple of the cycle, and he reached on an infield single to lead off the seventh. Franco's game-winning single was a grounder that snuck to the right of first baseman Ike Davis.

"I think I always enjoy being the guy, to hit a homer, to get the run to win it, catch the ball, whatever," Galvis said. "I think everyone enjoys that."

The Pirates scored in the second inning on a Jordy Mercer RBI double. Polanco -- who made his first start since Aug. 24 and had his first hit since Aug. 17 in the ninth inning-- scored from first on Mercer's hit. Polanco had reached on a walk after Phillies catcher Ruiz dropped a popup during his at-bat.

Russell Martin gave the Pirates the lead in the third inning with a two-run double with two outs. But it would be the last piece of production the Pirates had against Buchanan or any other Philadelphia pitcher.

The Pirates had their opportunities as the game progressed, even with the right guys in the box. But with two on in the seventh, Andrew McCutchen struck out against reliever Justin De Fratus to end the inning. And with Polanco representing the tying run at third base in the ninth, Josh Harrison met the same fate against closer Jonathan Papelbon.

"They threw some pitches and we just missed them. I got some pitches and we just missed them," said McCutchen, who went 0-for-3, ending a streak of three consecutive three-hit games. "They did their job, we just didn't do ours."

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.