McDonald’s Pitching, Doumit’s Homerun Lead Pirates Past Astros

By Zane Heiple
Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Battling Buccos lived up to their name today as they pulled out a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros and won the series, two games to one.  While James McDonald was unable to receive the bullpen support to earn the win, he pitched great, going six innings while allowing three hits, zero runs, and three walks.  He tied his career high of eight strikeouts during today’s contest.
Pittsburgh took the lead early, which has been a theme lately, in the first inning.  Steve Pearce hit a sacrifice fly to right field, which scored Andrew McCutchen.  The fourth inning saw the Buccos earn another run when Ronny Cedeno brought around Neil Walker on a single to right field. 
With a two run lead heading into the seventh inning, Chris Resop was summoned out of the bullpen and had his second straight bad outing.  The first batter he faced, Chris Johnson, hit a solo homerun to pull Houston within one.  Humberto Quintero tied the game two batters later on a double that scored Bill Hall.  Resop was yanked at this point and Joe Beimel came into the game.
Houston took the lead on the first batter Beimel faced.  A well timed bunt and run by Angel Sanchez scored Quintero from second base and the Astros had their lead of the day, 3-2.  They added a run in the eighth, which started on a Carlos Lee doubled that should have been ruled a catch by McCutchen.  Lee moved up to third on a poor pickoff throw by Daniel McCutchen and was followed by a Brett Wallace sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Lee.
At this point, it looked like the Pirates would once again drop a game that they clearly should have won.  But we don’t call them the Battling Buccos for nothing.  A Neil Walker single and a Steve Pearce walk brought Ryan Doumit to the plate with the opportunity to give Pittsburgh the lead once again.  Doumit did not disappoint, as he blasted a three-run shot to the left field bleachers to give the good guys a one-run lead.
Joel Hanrahan came in to close the game out in the ninth and earn his tenth save of the year.  He is now one save behind leaders Leo Nunez and Huston Street.
This was another exciting win for the Pirates.  Great starting pitching and timely hits led to the W today.  Hopefully Chris Resop is ablet o get back on track soon, because they cannot afford these let downs if they hope to continue their winning ways in 2011.  This is the first time since 2002 that Pittsburgh has had a .500 record on Mother’s Day.
The Pirates will welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to town for a four game set tomorrow.  Jeff Karstens will start for Pittsburgh tomorrow and look to give the Buccos a chance to improve their record at PNC Park.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
Record Vs. Astros: 2-1
Record Vs. N.L. Central: 9-6
Record At Home: 6-9
Overall Record: 17-17
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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