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by Zane Heiple

Photo by AP

The Pittsburgh Pirates scored the first and last runs in tonight’s ball game against the Houston Astros, unfortunately Houston scored eight runs in between for an 8-2 victory.

The Pirates opened the scoring in the third inning with an Alex Presley RBI single to center field that scored Ronny Cedeno.  The Astros would then tie the game in the fifth inning when Jose Altuve hit a solo home run to left field.  This lead to what would be a very messy sixth inning for the Buccos.

Charlie Morton pitched pretty well through the first five innings, but got into some trouble in the sixth inning and his bullpen did nothing to help the matter.  Morton would give up a single to the leadoff batter and then balk allowing that runner to advance to third.  With Jimmy Paredes now on second, he would steal third with one out in the inning, this lead to an intentional walk to Carlos Corporan.  Matt Downs, who was pinch hitting, hit a single down the third base line to give Houston a 2-1 lead.  Morton left the ball game after this and was replaced by Chris Leroux.  Leroux would allow two of the runners he inherited from Morton to score and then give up three earned runs of his own before being pulled, without getting an out, for Daniel McCutchen.  McCutchen would allow only one run in his 1.1 innings of work.

The Pirates then added their final run of the night in the ninth inning when Andrew McCutchen hit his 20th home run of the year and second of the series.

Nothing good came from this game for the Pirates.  They struck out eleven times, drew one walk, left seven men on base, and had four hits in thirty at bats.  All of this came to the team with the worst record in baseball and basically a minor league roster since they traded their notable players away at the trade deadline. 

Pittsburgh will try to save face tomorrow and avoid a sweep to the Astros.  James McDonald starts for Pittsburgh, while Houston will counter with J.A. Happ.  First pitch is scheduled for 8:05pm.

Record vs. Astros:  9-5
Record vs. N.L. Central:  31-33
Record on the Road:  31-35
Overall Record 62-73

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!!!