Final: Pirates 3, Astros 2 (12)
I really don’t want to get into how badly mismanaged this game was by Clint Hurdle, so I’m just going to be very grateful for the win. I’ll take winning a game in which BOTH Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes somehow played first base in.
A.J. Burnett was spectacular keeping the Bucs in this one as the offense stumbled throughout the game. In eight innings, he gave up just two runs on six hits. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with back-to-back doubles by Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen, but were shut down until they scored on a sacrifice fly by Pedro Alvarez in the 9th inning to tie the game up off Astros’ closer Brett Myers.
Clint Barmes, with two outs in the bottom of the 12th, legged out a double to left and Josh Harrison drove him in with a single to win it.
Burnett’s start was the 2nd in a row where he pitched eight innings. It’s hard not to absolutely love what he has done so far since being acquired. Outside of his 12-run debacle three starts ago, he has a 1.86 ERA in 29 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts and just six walks.
The Pirates bullpen continues to pitch exceptionally well. Jason Grilli, Joel Hanrahan, Juan Cruz, and Tony Watson each pitched a scoreless inning to keep the Astros at two runs throughout the extra innings. Over 107 innings this season, the bullpen has a 2.61 ERA, which is 2nd best in the National League.