Final: Pirates 6, Astros 5
WP: Tony Watson (5-1, 4.45 ERA)
LP: Rhiner Cruz (1-1, 7.41 ERA)
SV: Joel Hanrahan (31, 2.18 ERA)
That was a wild and crazy game.
The Astros started things off with three straight hits to lead off the second inning that ultimately led to them jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Chris Johnson then hit a solo home run in the third. Johnson finished with a stellar day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a single shy of the cycle.
Alex Presley homered in the fourth inning to wreck Jordan Lyles‘ perfect game. But Houston answered right back with a Ben Francisco home run to extend their lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
In the fifth inning, Pedro Alvarez led off with a single. Then, Michael McKenry deposited a line drive into the left field seats for a two-run homer to cut the Astros lead to 4-3. McKenry also led off the seventh with a double and later scored on a Josh Harrison sacrifice fly to tie the game up at four.
The Astros, though, didn’t let up, scoring a run off Jared Hughes in the seventh, thanks to a lead off triple by Johnson.
But McKenry wasn’t done. With one out in the ninth, he singled to left field before giving way to pinch-runner, Jordy Mercer. Drew Sutton and Casey McGehee then drew back-to-back pinch-hit walks to load up the bases. Starling Marte then hit a 1-0 pitch to deep center field to score Mercer to tie up the game. Drew Sutton then scored from third base thanks to a wild pitch by Xavier Cedeno to give the Pirates the lead. It was a pretty crazy inning.
Joel Hanrahan was able to finish things off with his 31st save, but did allow a single and a stolen base to make things interesting.
Michael McKenry is now hitting .267/.341/.567 with nine home runs in 120 at-bats. He is having an absolutely unreal season.
Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 4 with two doubles. They were his first extra base hits in nine games as he had been on a “mini slump.” That’s if you count a .348 average over his last seven games a slump…
The Reds keep winning, so the Pirates remain two games back in the NL Central as they move to a 57-42 on the season. They are still 3 1/2 games up for one of the wildcard standings.