Final: Pirates 4, Astros 3
WP: Chris Resop (1-3, 3.10 ERA)
LP: Chuckie Fick (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
SV: Jason Grilli (2, 1.86 ERA)
Wandy Rodriguez was all over the place in his Pirates debut, but was able to labor through six innings to get a “quality start.” I have to imagine that I would feel a little weird and a bit nervous making my debut with a new team against the club I was a part of the past eight seasons. Rodriguez ended the start giving up three runs and five walks over six innings while striking out five.
Alex Presley started things off in the first inning with a solo home run, his second in as many games and eighth of the year. But the Astros answered back capitalizing on back-to-back walks to start off the bottom of the second with a run to tie it up.
Neil Walker then drilled his 10th homer of the year into the second deck in right center field to break the tie in the fourth inning to put the Bucs back up 2-1. However, Jason Maxwell hit a two-run triple in the fifth inning to grab a 3-2 lead after Rodriguez allowed back-to-back singles to lead off the frame.
But the Astros relinquished the lead quickly when Garrett Jones scored on a passed ball in the sixth to tie things up. Then, in the eighth, following a leadoff walk by Andrew McCutchen and a single by Garrett Jones, Rod Barajas delivered a two-out RBI single to left field. Amazingly, it was the Pirates’ first hit of the series with runners in scoring position.
Brad Lincoln pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth and Jason Grilli pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close things off as Joel Hanrahan was not available.
Starling Marte went 0 for 5 with a strikeout and is 0 for his last 10 after starting off his ML career 2 for 3. I could see him getting a day off tomorrow, especially with Presley hitting the past two games.
Neil Walker is having himself a July. Before today, he was hitting .361/.432/.639 for the month. His homer today was his sixth of the month.
Brad Lincoln had an ERA of 0.52 with a 39:8 K:BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings as a reliever going into the game. He pitched a scoreless inning today with a strikeout to improve those numbers even further.
The Pirates are now 58-42.