The Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros continued their three-game series from PNC Park Tuesday night. Pittsburgh was looking to bounce back after dropping the opener on Monday. Mitch Keller had a strong outing and the offense came to life at the right times to pick up a 7-4 victory and even up this series at one game apiece.
Houston jumped on the board in the first inning with a solo home run from Alex Bregman. They got their second run of the night in the second inning on another solo dinger, this one from Kyle Tucker. The Pirates would use the long ball in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at two, which would come off the bat of Jack Suwinski.
Pittsburgh took the lead in the sixth on a Ji Man Choi solo home run to right. They then tacked on their fourth run later that inning when Canaan Smith-Njigba hit a sac fly to score Ke’Bryan Hayes. That lead would hold until the ninth when Chas McCormick doubled in two runs to tie the game at four. Ji Hwan Bae made sure the game was over in the bottom half of the inning when he launched a walk off three run homer to right.
Keller would pitch six innings on the night allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The bullpen came on and was strong for two out of the three innings they worked. After Duane Underwood Jr. worked the seventh, Colin Holderman would allow one hit and strikeout a batter in the eighth. David Bednar had a rough ninth inning allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits with a walk and a strikeout. He did pick up the win though.
Astros starter Cristian Javier also pitched six innings giving up four runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Ryne Stanek and Rafael Montero each pitched a scoreless inning, combining to give up two hits with three strikeouts. Ryan Pressly was tagged with a loss after giving up three runs on three hits with a strikeout in the ninth.
Choi and Hayes led Pittsburgh with two hits apiece, Houston would be led by Bregman and Tucker who also had two hits. Even though they lost the lead late, it was great to see the Pirates battle back and get an exciting walk off win against the defending World Series Champions. These two teams will play one more time tomorrow afternoon at 12:35pm to close out the series. Pittsburgh will look for Rich Hill to have a quality outing, while the Astros will send Jose Urquidy to the bump.
Record vs. Astros: 1-1
Record vs. American League: 6-2
Record at Home: 3-2
Overall Record: 7-4
Let’s Go Bucs!