Final: Astros 4, Pirates 2 (box)
A.J. Burnett pitched stellar, as usual, giving up just one run over seven innings. He did walk four batters and give up five hits, but was helped out by seven strikeouts and two double plays. Burnett has a 2.57 ERA this season in ten starts and somehow the Pirates have managed to win just four of those ten. They are averaging 2.6 runs scored per Burnett start.
The Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead on back-to-back doubles in the first inning by Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez. McCutchen would hit a second double in the sixth for his third straight multi-hit game.
Mark Melancon gave up just his second run of the season in the eighth inning after giving up three singles. It is the first time this season he’s blown a lead.
The Pirates were simply unable to get to an Astros staff with pitchers who entered the game with ERA’s of 6.67, 7.43, 2.95, 5.02, and 3.94. Former Pirate Erik Bedard went more than five innings for the first time this year and it was just his second start in which he didn’t allow a home run.
The Astros scored the go-ahead run in the 11th inning on a play at the plate. Home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled Jason Castro safe on a fielder’s choice to Neil Walker. Clint Hurdle was ejected following the play. Castro was clearly safe.