Astros-Pirates: Unlucky Seventh For Houston Against Pittsburgh

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2009

Brian Moehler retired 11 in a row but the Pittsburgh Pirates blew the game open in the seventh; for a 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros.

The Pirates (38-46) won their fourth game against the Astros, and their first in Houston this season. 

The Astros (40-42) failed to reach .500 for the first time since they were 1-1 in April. Additionally, they failed to gain ground in the division with the Brewers and Cubs losing.

Paul Maholm (6-4, 4.60 ERA) started for the Pirates and pitched six innings. In those six innings, Maholm gave up two runs on six hits, walked two, and struck out two. Maholm improved to 6-4 and 2-1 against the Astros.

In the win, Matt Capps earned his 19 save with a perfect ninth inning.

Brian Moehler (5-5, 5.52 ERA) started for the Astros and pitched six and one third-innings, giving up four runs (three earned), on three hits, walked two, and struck out four. Moehler is yet to win at Minute Maid Park this season (0-4).

Jack Wilson scored the first runs of the game in the third inning, with a home run to left scoring Andrew McCutchen. 

After Wilson’s home run, Moehler started his streak of retiring 11 straight Pirates. During that streak, Pittsburgh failed to get a ball out of the infield.

The Astros immediately cut into the Pirates lead in the bottom of the third. After Moehler flied out to left, Michael Bourn walked. Miguel Tejada doubled to left advancing Bourn to third. Bourn scored on Lance Berkman’s groundout to second.

Berkman’s base running in the bottom of the sixth helped the Astros tie the game. After Tejada grounded out to Wilson, Berkman singled. Carlos Lee hit a fly ball to deep center, and Berkman quickly ran back to first, and tagged up to second. Hunter Pence drove Berkman in with a single.

The Pirates struck back in the seventh. Garrett Jones broke up Moehler’s streak with a four-pitch walk. Andy LaRoche reached on a four-pitch walk ending Moehler’s night. Tim Byrdak replaced Moehler and walked the only batter he faced. 

Berkman fielded a ground ball and tried to get a force out at home, however Ivan Rodriguez could not handle Berkman’s throw and Jones scored the go-ahead run. Delwyn Young pinched hit for Maholm and singled to left increasing the Pirates lead to 4-2.

McCutchen singled to left and scored Vasquez, Jason Jaramillo tried to score but Lee threw out him at home. Wilson got his third RBI with a single scoring Young.

The Astros and Pirates close out their series Wednesday. Wandy Rodriguez (7-6, 3.21 ERA) starts for the Astros against the Pirates’ Charlie Morton (1-1, 2.65 ERA).