It was another close game for the Astros which they have been on the wrong side of over the season. A solo home run by Pedro Alvarez was all the scoring in the 1-0 loss to the Pirates. Jason Grilli closed the door on the Astros in the 9th, sending them home with another series loss.
The Astros were hoping to win Sunday’s game and go home with a 3-3 road-trip under their belts. Unfortunately, the Astros bats were silenced by Pirates SP Jeff Locke. Locke looked sharp on Sunday, throwing 7 innings of three-hit ball, to go along with two walks and four strikeouts. The Pirates combination of Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli threw two perfect innings to finish off the Astros. Houston had only three hits on the day with Lucas Harrell contributing one of those himself. Carlos Corporan and Chris Carter were the only other Astros to reach base with singles.
Harrell looked great on the mound today, finishing with 7 innings (64 strikes on 97 pitches). He gave up four hits, one run, and one walk, while striking out three. Harrell’s only mistake was giving up a solo-shot in the 5th inning to Pedro Alvarez. The other scoring threat was erased when Travis Snider was gunned out at the plate by Brandon Barnes for the third out of the inning. Harrell deserved the win with his dominant performance throughout the game, but the offense was not there for him. Harrell looked real good, throwing his sinker for strikes, and inducing 12 ground ball outs on the day. He showed lots of excitement often jumping off the mound on strikeouts, and throwing out fists pumps on nice plays by his defense. This performance looked like the Harrell from 2012, and the Astros will hope he continues his strong pitching the next time out.
The Astros head back home to face the Kansas City Royals at 7:10 PM CT tomorrow.