Pirates 5, Astros 4
All Jimmy Paredes was thinking about was catching the ball. Same
with Jake Elmore.
Not that concentration helped.
Russell Martin’s bases-loaded fly ball popped out Paredes’ glove
when he ran into the second baseman with two outs in the ninth
inning, and the second missed catch of the night by a Houston right
fielder helped the Pittsburgh Pirates rally past the Astros 5-4
”I’m anticipating the ball being hit to me, just like I do on
every pitch,” Paredes said. ”All I’m thinking about is catching
the ball for the third out. That’s all I wanted to do. I was
watching the ball and then I hit into him. Sometimes things like
that happen in this game, and it’s frustrating to lose like
Houston manager Bo Porter said Paredes, who was charged with an
error, should have peeled off and let Elmore make the play. Paredes
collided with second baseman Jose Altuve on Monday night while
chasing a pop fly at Detroit.
”It’s not a lack of communication, because there’s only one
person that should be communicating,” Porter said. ”The infielder
is not saying anything. If he gets underneath the ball, the
outfielder is running in and he’s looking at the infielder. And if
the infielder is waving his hands and under the ball, you let him
take the ball.”
That wasn’t Houston’s only fielding foible.
Down 4-1, Pittsburgh started its comeback in the sixth when
Chris Carter, usually a designated hitter, dropped Andrew
McCutchen’s fly ball to right for a three-base error and Garrett
Jones followed with a double.
Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer in the eighth, a 462-foot
drive that cleared the right-field stands and went into the
Allegheny River on one hop.
Starling Marte singled off Edgar Gonzalez (0-1) leading off the
ninth, and Travis Snider hit into a forceout, with the Astros
failing to turn a double play with a late relay throw to first by
McCutchen’s single put runners at the corners, and Gonzalez
fielded Brandon Inge’s comebacker and dropped it for an error as he
turned to throw to second, missing his chance to start an
inning-ending double play.
Neil Walker took a called third strike with a full count, and
Martin lifted a full-count pitch to short right-center field, where
Elmore settled under the ball and Paredes slammed into him as the
ball hit his glove and fell to the field.
”In that situation, the crowd is so loud that you can’t hear
anybody calling for the ball,” Elmore said. ”We had already let
one ball drop, and I didn’t want to a second one to fall, too. I
was waving my arms, hoping Jimmy would see me, but he had his eye
on the ball the whole time.”
Justin Wilson (4-0) pitched a scoreless ninth as the Pirates
(25-17) won for the seventh time in eight games to move a
season-high eight games over .500.
”This game’s crazy sometimes,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle
said. ”The crowd helped us there on the error. They made it tough
on the fielders and they created a break for us.”
McCutchen homered and had three hits for Pittsburgh.
Houston’s 11-31 start is its worst and matched Miami for the
poorest record in the major leagues.
Astros starter Jordan Lyles allowed two runs – one earned – and
four hits in five innings and is 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career
starts against Pittsburgh.
Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez gave up four runs – three earned
— and five hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Houston built a 4-1 lead on Jason Castro’s sacrifice fly in the
first and a three-run third that included Matt Dominguez’s solo
homer, Elmore’s run-scoring single and a throwing error by Walker
McCutchen homered in the first.
”Our defense has been one of our strong suits pretty much the
whole year,” Porter said, ”but tonight we did not play good
defense and we put ourselves in position where it cost us the
NOTES: The Pirates placed RHP Jose Contreras on the bereavement
list and recalled RHP Jared Hughes from Triple-A Indianapolis. …
Altuve missed his third straight game because of the death of his
grandmother and will be activated from the bereavement list prior
to Saturday night’s game. Elmore likely will be optioned back to
Triple-A Oklahoma. … Astros RHP Bud Norris will start Tuesday
against Kansas City rather than Sunday against Pittsburgh. He left
Monday’s start because of lower back spasms while warming up for
the sixth inning. RHP Lucas Harrell and LHP Dallas Keuchel both had
their turns moved up a day. Harrell will face the Pirates on Sunday
and Keuchel will pitch Monday against the Royals. … LHP Philip
Humber accepted an outright assignment to Oklahoma after Houston
designated him for assignment last weekend. Humber was 0-8 with a
9.59 ERA in nine games, including seven starts, for the Astros. …
LHP Erik Bedard (0-2, 6.67) will start Saturday night for Houston
against RHP A.J. Burnett (3-4, 2