It took the Astros offense a while to get started today but a big ninth inning helped secure a 5-4 win. Pirates starter James McDonald held Houston hitless fro 5 & 1/3 innings before pinch-hitter Travis Buck delivered a single up the middle. McDonald was able to keep the Astros off the scoreboard until Brian Bogusevic singled and came around to score in the seventh.
Astros starter Kyle Weiland had a solid outing, allowing two runs on six hits in his five innings of work. Weiland continues to strengthen his case to break camp as the fifth starter in the Astros rotation. Five Astros relievers followed Weiland to the mound and David Carpenter was the only one to allow any runs. Carpenter gave up a two-run homer to Garrett Jones in the eighth inning and Pittsburgh carried a 4-1 lead into the ninth.
Pirates right-hander Ryota Igarashi came in with a chance to secure the save but was unable to hold the lead. Igarashi was wild, walking the first two batters he faced. Scott Moore then delivered a three-run blast to tie the game for the Astros. A fielding error in the tenth helped Houston plate the go-ahead run and Enerio Del Rosario pitched a scoreless inning to earn the save.
The Astros offense totaled only four hits for the game but managed to capitalize on their opportunities. The offense has sputtered a bit lately as the coaches continue to run a high number of players to the plate. Travis Buck is one player that has stood out from the crowd and may have increased his chances of making the team. Coaches will get a chance to see plenty of players again tomorrow when the Astros split the squad. Half of the team will take on the Pirates again while the other half goes up against the Braves. Both of tomorrow’s games will start at noon. J.A. Happ will get the start against Pittsburgh and Zach Duke faces the Braves.