Many Pittsburgh Pirates fans were stating that the Buccos needed a bat before the trade deadline ends on Tuesday. They may have found that bat at Triple-A Indianapolis in the form of Starling Marte. Marte was called up tonight to make his Major League debut and did not disappoint. He took the first pitch he ever saw and blasted it for a home run. That hit set the tone as Pittsburgh would go on to defeat the Houston Astros 5-3.
The Marte dinger wasn’t the only longball of the inning. With one out and a runner on, Garrett Jones hit his 15th homer of the year to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. The offense continued to hit them over the fence in the second inning when Clint Barmes, yes that Clint Barmes, hit a two run shot to put the Buccos up by five.
That would be the final run Pittsburgh needed and it was up to the pitching and defense to hold on for the win. A.J. Burnett started tonight and had another quality start. He would go 7.1 innings allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out five and walking one batter. His one rough spot was in the eighth when he gave up two solo home runs. Burnett did collect his 12th win of the season.
Brad Lincoln closed out the eighth and that lead to Joel Hanrahan to collect his league leading 30th save of the year. Of course there was a little drama as “The Hammer” allowed a run and collected the final out with a runner on second and the tying run at the plate.
Great start to a long ten game road trip for the Pirates. Houstonis a bad team, so it is a must to collect as many wins off them as they can. The Buccos now sit 2 games back of the Cincinnati Reds, who had the night off, with the win tonight. Game two of this four game series will be tomorrow night at 8:05 with Jeff Karstens on the hill.
Record vs. Astros: 7-1
Record vs. N.L. Central: 23-15
Record on the Road: 23-26
Overall Record: 56-42
Let’s Go Bucs!
[hana-code-insert name=’adsense-banner’ /]