Jeff Karstens dominates in 2-0 win as Pirates sweep Astros

Final: Pirates 2, Astros 0

WP: Jeff Karstens (2-2, 3.94 ERA)

LP: Bud Norris (5-6, 4.71 ERA)

SV: Joel Hanrahan (22, 2.45 ERA)

That is the Jeff Karstens that we all grew to count on night in and night out all last season. Tonight, he breezed through the Astros’ lineup giving up just four hits and a walk over eight shutout innings. He struck out eight batters, one shy of his career high.

Joel Hanrahan came in for the ninth after just 89 pitches by Karstens. He walked two batters, but was helped out by a double play to preserve the shutout.

The Pirates scored their first run in the second inning as Garrett Jones scored on an RBI single by Casey McGehee following a lead off double. Jones also drove in the Pirates’ second run of the game the following inning on a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.

Garrett Jones had an unreal four game series. He finished up 9 for 16 with three doubles, two doubles, and seven RBI. His season batting average rose .025 points from the start of the series.

Neil Walker went 1 for 2 with two walks to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He is 15 for 35 (.429) in those nine games.

The Pirates are now ten games over .500.