PITTSBURGH -- Waived three times in the offseason, Virgil Vasquez couldn't help but have fun in his first major league start in 22 months.
The 27-year-old right-hander went six innings for his first major league win and the Pittsburgh Pirates got home runs from three unlikely power sources in a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Vasquez (1-0), recalled by the Pirates after Thursday's game to make his first start since Aug. 31, 2007, allowed two runs and four hits while striking out seven.
"It was so much fun," said Vasquez, who spent last season with Detroit's Triple-A affiliate before being claimed -- and later left exposed on waivers -- by Boston and San Diego then finally sticking with the Pirates in a three-month span this winter.
"It's great to get an another opportunity up here after being with three teams in the offseason," he said. "It was nice to know three different teams liked me and wanted to have me on a roster, and I ended up here, and I'm really happy with this clubhouse and the front office and teammates and coaches."
Vasquez worked quickly and threw strikes -- 66 among 99 pitches. Only once this season in 14 Triple-A starts had he struck out at least seven.
"I don't want to say he's a strikeout pitcher," Pirates manager John Russell said, "but he was getting ahead of hitters, and when you're ahead of hitters, he has enough he can strike them out."
Matt Capps converted his 11th consecutive save opportunity and 17th overall with a shaky ninth. After getting two quick outs, Capps allowed Teahen's solo homer, then committed a fielding error and gave up a single to Olivo.
But pinch-hitter Mike Jacobs struck out looking with the tying runs aboard.
Morgan, Jaramillo and Wilson had combined for five home runs in 579 at-bats this season heading into Friday's game for a punchless offense that ranked 26th in the majors in homers.
"I guess it was a day for the little guys," Morgan said.
The next inning Jaramillo hit his third homer into the same section in right field.
"I certainly feel good at the plate right now," said Jaramillo, who homered Wednesday. "I feel comfortable, and I know a lot of the guys do."
Wilson added a solo shot to left in the sixth, his third of the season and second in seven games.
"Everybody can hit homers -- it's just sometimes you don't have to swing for it," Wilson said. "For guys like us, it's more like a line drive that you get under it a little bit. It's nice to be able to get power from unexpected sources."
Pittsburgh's speed contributed to taking a 4-2 lead in the fifth. McCutchen led off with a walk and stole second. Morgan then reached on a bunt single, with McCutchen going to third. Freddy Sanchez followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
Meche (4-7) was charged with four runs, five hits and three walks in five innings. He allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings in his most recent start.
"I didn't feel real smooth out there," Meche said. "Tonight was terrible. I just didn't feel great, didn't have good arm speed, didn't locate. It was pretty much the same story as the last start."
Despite scoring two runs, McCutchen's hitting streak ended at 13 games -- the longest by a rookie this season. McCutchen had hit safely in all but two of his previous 20 games in the majors. ... Pittsburgh has won eight of 10 and nine of 12 at home. ... Vasquez was 0-1 in five games, three starts, with Detroit in 2007.
New York Yankees trade 1B Mike Ford to Tampa Bay Rays for $100,000
First baseman Mike Ford was traded by the New York Yankees to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday for $100,000 and a player to be named.
The State of Baseball: MLB's biggest challenges for 2021 and far beyond
From rising strikeout totals and unwritten rules debates to connecting with a new generation of fans and a looming labor battle, baseball is at a crossroads.
Fantasy baseball prospect watch: Hot takes at the hot corner
Eric Karabell refreshes his weekly analysis of some of the top fantasy-relevant players taking their first action in the majors with a look at the future stars of third base.
Fantasy baseball forecaster: Team hitting ratings
Stay ahead of the game and optimize your fantasy baseball hitters with our forecaster, which provides a rolling 10-day outlook of every team's hitting matchups as well as the potential for stolen bases.
Fantasy baseball forecaster: Pitcher projections for the next 10 days
Keep up to date on who is pitching -- and how well they're expected to do -- with our forecaster, which provides a rolling 10-day outlook of every team's probable starting pitchers with game score projections.
The most fun you can have at a ballpark? What MLB could learn from the Savannah Bananas
They're hilarious. They're social media favorites. They're pushing the envelope of what baseball can be in 2021 and beyond.