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by Zane Heiple

Photo by Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates played their 18th and final game against the Houston Astros for 2011 tonight.  This game was a back and forth battle ending with the Buccos winning 5-4.  Andrew McCutchen was the star of tonight going 2-3 with two HR, four RBI, and drawing one walk.

Houston started the game off hot as they would score three runs in the first inning.  These runs would come off of back to back homers.  The first would come from Carlos Lee who smacked a two run shot to left field.  Matt Downs would follow that up with a solo shot to left field.  Pittsburgh would answer back in the bottom part of the inning with McCutchen’s first home run of the night this one to center field. 

The Astros regained that four run lead in the fourth inning when Clint Barmes hit a home run to left field to make the score 4-1.  That lead did not last long.  Cutch would come to the plate with two runners on in the fifth inning with two outs and gave the crowd at PNC Park plenty to cheer about as he hit his second homer of the night, this time to left field to tie the game.

The Pirates would score the winning run on a crazy play in the eighth inning.  With runners on first and second and one out, Jason Jaramillo would single home Chase d’ Arnaud.  After d’Arnaud scored the go ahead run, the inning ending double play was turned on a 9-2-6-9-2 double play.

With all these home runs tonight, both starting pitcher did not go very deep into the game.   Pirate’s starter Brian Burres would only last 3.2 innings giving up four runs on seven hits while allowing three home runs.  Astros starter J.A. Happ wasn’t much better going five innings giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out eight and walking four.  The Pirates bullpen stepped up tonight bridging the gap from starter to closer and Joel Hanrahan would earn his 36th save of the year.

Another series win for the Buccos will lead them into a day off tomorrow.  They will return to action on Friday to begin a three game series with the Florida Marlins, which is a team that swept them back in April.  Ross “The Boss” Ohlendorf is scheduled to face Ricky Nolasco on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.

Record vs. Astros:  11-7
Record vs. N.L. Central:  35-36
Record at PNC Park:  33-39
Overall Record 66-77

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!!!