I will out of town today, Saturday and will be getting back Sunday evening. I won’t have any access to a computer either and am at least hoping my phone will have service where I’m going. So obviously, updates during that time frame will most likely be non-existent. I will try to get the live blogs up, but if I’m not able to, check out Raise the Jolly Roger, Three Rivers Burgh Blog, or The McEffect as it should be up on those sites.
Final: Astros 8, Pirates 2
WP: Bud Norris (5-6)
LP: Charlie Morton (7-5)
The Bucs were up 1-0 heading into the 6th inning, but then the Astros bats, helped along with some sloppy play, busted out for a 5-run 6th inning to put the game essentially out of reach.
The Pirates could only manage 2 runs against Bud Norris over 7 innings of work with both runs being driven in by Andrew McCutchen.
Chris Leroux did a good job in a mop-up role relieving Charlie Morton as he ended up going 1 2/3 scoreless innings before giving way to Dan McCutchen. He and Daniel Moskos would combine to give up 3 more runs over the final 3 innings.
The Pirates ended up taking 2 out of 3 from the Astros so it is yet another series win. They will have an off day before a 3-game set against the 5th place Cubs this weekend before heading into the All-Star Break. Winning another series could go a long way and would put the Bucs at least 4 games over .500 at the break.
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Final: Pirates 5, Astros 1
WP: Jeff Karstens (7-4)
LP: Wandy Rodriguez (6-5)
Seriously, what can be said about Jeff Karstens? I say that after every single start. The guy has literally been on a season long hot streak. He pitched 7+ innings today and gave up just 1 run, and that was on a solo homer. Can’t ask for any more than that.
Brandon Wood put the Bucs ahead early on with a 2-run homer to right center field in the 2nd inning, his 4th of the season. He would also add an RBI single in the 4th inning to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
2 more Pirate runs would cross the plate in the 6th inning when the Pirates loaded the bases up with no one out. Michael McKenry would hit an RBI sac fly to right field, and Jeff Karstens would execute a perfect squeeze play to finish the scoring for the Bucs.
Matt Diaz was 3 for 4 with an (OH MY GOD) extra base hit! Neil Walker and Lyle Overbay would also each add 2 hits a piece to go along with Wood’s to knocks.
Jose Veras and Chris Resop each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to close things out. The win moved the Pirates into a tie with the Brewers for 2nd place in the NL Central and are 1.5 games out of 1st place. Charlie Morton looks to complete the sweep tomorrow against the Astros and Bud Norris.