Early power surge not enough
Carlos Lee and Matt Downs hit back-to-back homers in the first inning off Pittsburgh starter Brian Burres tonight but the offense fell dormant late and the Pirates rallied for a 5-4 win. Clint Barmes added a longball in the fourth inning but the Astros offense failed to register a hit over the final four innings.
J.A. Happ pitched five innings and held the Pirates in check with the exception of Andrew McCutchen. Pittsburgh’s center-fielder blasted two homeruns and drove in four runs against the Astros lefty. With the game tied at four in the bottom of the eighth the managerial wheels started turning. As usual, Brad Mills‘ wheel turned a little slower than that of the opposition. Three Pirates pinch hitters delivered consecutive hits to plate the eventual winning run. Wilton Lopez was ineffective and took the loss, falling to 2-6 for the year. It was loss number 95 of the season for the Astros.
Jason Jaramillo had the go ahead hit which also brought the inning to an interesting end. Right-fielder Brian Bogusevic was unable to throw out Chase d’Arnaud at the plate, but Jaramillo was caught in a rundown between first and second. Bogusevic ran in from his outfield position and wound up tagging Jaramillo out at second base. Bogey then threw home to nail Ryan Doumit who was trying to score. It was a cool play but the damage had already been done. Joel Hanrahan set down the ‘Stros in order in the ninth to earn his 36th save. The Astros get a day off tomorrow before a three game weekend series in D.C. against the Nationals.