Pirates 4, Astros 3

Wandy Rodriguez was happy when his Pittsburgh debut was over,

especially since it came against his former team.

Rodriguez pitched six innings, Rod Barajas hit a tiebreaking

single in the eighth and the Pirates rallied past Houston 4-3 on

Saturday night, sending the Astros to their club-record 12th

straight loss.

”It was hard, but I know I tried to concentrate and put the

ball wherever I wanted and that’s what I did all night,” Rodriguez

said. ”I did not think a lot about, this is my old team.”

Rodriguez allowed three runs and six hits with five walks and

five strikeouts. The free-falling Astros, who have lost 25 of 27,

traded the left-hander to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for three minor

leaguers.

Rodriguez was 80-84 with a 4.04 ERA in eight seasons with the

Astros. He holds the franchise record for strikeouts by a lefty

with 1,093.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said it was a good debut for

Rodriguez and he liked the pitcher’s quick pace.

”All in all, I thought he navigated through traffic very

well,” Hurdle said. ”I thought he was probably excited to get out

there and pitch. I have never seen him walk five in a game all of

the years I have watched him pitch. I’m sure he had some emotion or

adrenaline.”

Alex Presley and Neil Walker homered for Pittsburgh.

Barajas stopped an 0-for-18 slide with his key single off

Fernando Rodriguez that scored Andrew McCutchen. The hit also ended

an 0-for-17 streak with runners in scoring position for the

Pirates.

”I haven’t been clutch for a while,” Barajas said. ”I have

had a lot of opportunities. I was starting to think the only way I

can get a runner in from third base is a wild pitch. My last two

runs that have scored when I was hitting were wild pitches. When

you are struggling, you just want to figure out a way offensively

to help the team out.”

Chris Resop (1-3) earned the win with a scoreless seventh. Brad

Lincoln pitched the eighth and Jason Grilli earned his second

save.

Chuckie Fick (0-1) gave up a run and two hits in his first

appearance with the Astros since being claimed off waivers

Friday.

Houston lost 11 in a row in 1995.

”We can sit here and probably try to pick things apart as best

we can on all kinds of issues,” Astros manager Brad Mills said.

”But we’ve been facing some good pitchers in tough situations. I

think we saw Wandy pitch like that many times for us.”

Wandy Rodriguez gave up all three runs and six hits in the first

four innings.

Houston called up Armando Galarraga to make his first major

league start since May 16, 2011, with Arizona. He allowed three

runs – two earned – and five hits with five strikeouts in five-plus

innings.

Galarraga said he was tired after his wife gave birth to their

first child Friday night in Austin. He drove to Houston on

Saturday.

”I didn’t have my best sinker tonight, but I kept the game

close,” Galarraga said. ”I need to show I can pitch again and

contribute. There are a lot of new people and new faces around here

with all the changes, but we need to keep it together and pitch

well.”

Walker put Pittsburgh up 2-1 in the fourth with a solo home run

to right field.

Justin Maxwell put the Astros on top 3-2 in the fifth with a

two-run triple off the right-field wall. That scored Jose Altuve

and Matt Downs, who hit back-to-back singles to start the

inning.

Pittsburgh tied it at 3 in the sixth when Garrett Jones scored

on a passed ball, but squandered an opportunity for more after

loading the bases with no outs. Pedro Alvarez hit a dribbler and

Carlos Corporan stepped on the plate before throwing to first for a

double play. After the passed ball, Barajas popped up to end the

inning.

Presley gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead with a one-out homer to

right off Galarraga. Jones hit a two-out triple to deep center that

Maxwell initially caught but dropped after tripping on Tal’s Hill,

but Galarraga escaped further damage in the first by getting Walker

to fly out.

Corporan tied the game at 1 with a single off Rodriguez that

scored Maxwell, who led off the inning with a walk.

NOTES: Houston claimed INF Steve Pearce off waivers from

Baltimore. Pearce will report to the Astros on Sunday. … The

Astros optioned LHP Fernando Abad to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make

room for Galarraga. They also sent RHPs Enerio Del Rosario and

Aneury Rodriguez outright to Oklahoma City. … The Pirates have

homered in 18 straight road games. … Pittsburgh will start RHP

James McDonald (10-4, 3.15 ERA) in the finale of the four-game

series Sunday against RHP Lucas Harrell (7-7, 4.07).