Astros 4, Pirates 2(11)
The Houston Astros haven’t had many wins to celebrate so far
this season. This one was especially satisfying for manager Bo
Jason Castro led off the 11th inning with a double and scored
the go-ahead run on a close play at the plate as the Astros topped
the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Saturday night.
”Even though we’ve had our share of bumps and bruises, we’re
going to hit a stretch where we start playing well and put together
a string of games like we played tonight,” Porter said. ”It’s a
tremendous group of guys in that clubhouse. It’s a resilient group.
They have fun together. They love playing game. They play
Castro doubled off the top of the center-field fence against
Bryan Morris (1-2), and Carlos Pena was intentionally walked one
out later. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and Castro scored
when he beat second baseman Neil Walker’s throw home on Matt
Dominguez’s fielder’s choice grounder.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle argued the call with plate
umpire C.B. Bucknor and was ejected. Pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez
followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2.
”I thought he was out, but I watched the replay and I was
wrong. C.B. got the call right,” Hurdle said.
Porter credited got baserunning on Castro’s part for scoring the
”Castro had a great heads-up read on contact and made a great
slide,” Porter said.
Rookie Jose Cisnero (1-0) struck out five in 3 2-3 scoreless
relief innings for his first major league win. Jose Veras pitched a
scoreless 11th for his sixth save as Houston (12-31) won for the
second time in three games since losing six in a row.
”Anytime you get that kind of push like that from someone out
of the bullpen, he probably should have got the win and the save,
too,” Hurdle said.
Porter was hoping Cisnero could provide multiple innings from a
bullpen that has been overworked of late.
”In that situation, we have some guys who have been worked hard
the last few days,” Porter said. ”We didn’t have many guys
available. Most of the guys we had (warming) up were for show. It
was pretty his game until we took the lead and then we were going
to hand it over to Veras.”
Chris Carter’s run-scoring single in the eighth inning tied the
game at 2 and ended Mark Melancon’s string of 13 consecutive
scoreless relief appearances, covering 13 innings.
Houston’s Jose Altuve had three hits to raise his batting
average to .342 after being activated from the bereavement list
before the game. Altuve missed three games after his grandmother
died in his native Venezuela.
Andrew McCutchen hit two doubles and Brandon Inge had two hits
for Pittsburgh, which lost for the second time in nine games.
Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett held Houston to one run in seven
innings while allowing five hits and four walks, but wound up with
a no-decision when Melancon could not hold the lead. Burnett struck
out seven to raise his National League-leading total to 79. He has
not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 10 starts
”You can talk about (the Astros’) record, but they’re all big
leaguers, they’re all up here for a reason,” Burnett said. ”They
battled me. They had some really good swings with two strikes and
they fought off some tough pitches. I felt good to get out of it
with only one run allowed.”
The Astros’ Erik Bedard gave up two runs and seven hits in six
innings with three strikeouts and no walks in his first career
start against Pittsburgh. The veteran left-hander was the Pirates’
opening day starter last season, but was released on Aug. 30 after
”You don’t really think about who it’s against,” Bedard said.
”You just want to win the ballgame.”
Inge put Pittsburgh in front 2-1 in the sixth when he hit a
two-out RBI single to left field off Bedard.
The Pirates scored the game’s first run on consecutive doubles
by McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez with two outs in the first
Houston tied in the fifth on Altuve’s two-out RBI single.
NOTES: Houston INF Jake Elmore was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma
City to make room on the roster for Altuve. … Porter said
Saturday that OF Brandon Barnes, his best defensive outfielder, was
unavailable to play in Friday night’s 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh
because of a sprained right ankle. That is why RF Jimmy Paredes,
who dropped Pittsburgh C Russell Martin’s two-out fly ball in the
ninth inning to allow the winning run to score, was in the game. On
Saturday, Barnes entered in the bottom of the 11th for defensive
purposes. … Pirates RHP Jeff Karstens (right shoulder
inflammation) allowed two unearned runs in four innings Saturday
night for Double-A Altoona in a rehab start at Richmond in the
Eastern League. … The three-game series concludes Sunday with
Houston RHP Lucas Harrell (3-4, 5.11) pitching against LHP Jeff
Locke (3-1, 3.15).