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Houston at Pittsburgh

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Houston «00040120411170
Pittsburgh100000000162

Astros 11, Pirates 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Houston Astros have been waiting for a game like this. The Pittsburgh Pirates are seeing too many just like them.

Humberto Quintero's three-run double in the fourth inning ended Houston's season-long scoreless streak in Pittsburgh and Brandon Backe limited the Pirates to a run over six innings, leading the Astros to an 11-1 victory Monday night.

"That's more like it," said manager Phil Garner, whose team was held to five runs while being swept in a three-game weekend series in St. Louis.

The Astros were streaking going into the All-Star break with 29 victories in 42 games. Backe (8-6) brought them back to within a game of .500 with his pitching and hitting, the latest in a string of opposing pitchers to hurt the Pirates not just on the mound but at the plate.

Backe followed Quintero's three-run double off Dave Williams (7-7) with an RBI triple in the four-run fourth, which came after the Astros had none on and two outs. Backe also doubled the inning before and now has four extra-base hits, six RBI and a .294 average. Quintero finished with four RBI after starting the game 1-for-16.

The Pirates fell to a season-low 12 games under .500 with their 22nd loss in 32 games. As the Pirates have dropped five of their last six, opposing pitchers have accounted for eight runs with six RBI and two runs scored, while the Pirates have scored just nine runs.

"I don't know if it's the low point of the season or not," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We've played some bad games and rebounded and I suspect we will again. I'm not going to blow this out of perspective."

It would help if they could get the opposing starting pitcher out -- not just out of game early, but out at the plate. Cubs starting pitchers were 5-for-12 with five RBI as the Pirates lost three of four in Wrigley Field over the weekend.

"It was the same thing in Chicago, the bottom of the order hurt us," McClendon said. "Dave Williams is cruising along and the next thing you know they've got five hits and four runs."

The Astros were shut down for three innings by Williams to run their scoreless streak in PNC Park this season to 21 innings. But Jason Lane, Adam Everett and Chris Burke singled in succession ahead of Quintero's double that fell in front of left fielder Jason Bay, ending the catcher's 0-for-13 streak.

"I've been trying to hit the ball to right field, now I've got to work on that," the right handed-hitting Quintero said. "But he threw me a changeup and it went into left field."

Quintero was activated off the 15-day disabled list Saturday after being out following an appendectomy. He hadn't had an extra base hit since having two homers and three doubles with the Padres last season.

Lane and Lance Berkman also had three-hit games, with Berkman driving in two runs, as the Astros had 17 hits, one short of their season high.

The Pirates were held to a run after loading the bases with none out in the first, only to be checked by Backe on two hits over the next five innings. He withstood six walks to win for just the second time in seven starts, striking out six and allowing three hits.

"I was satisfied even though I walked some guys -- it was an OK outing," Backe said. "I've got some things to work on but I can also be happy about some things I did tonight."

It probably helped that two key hitters in the middle of the Pirates' order are slumping badly. NL All-Star Bay went 0-for-2 and is in a 2-for-33 slide and first baseman Daryle Ward went an 11th consecutive game without an RBI. Ward has a team-high 52 RBI, but hasn't had an RBI since July 3 or a home run since June 7, a span of 34 games.

Williams, pitching for the first time since beating the Mets 11-4 on July 9, lasted five-plus innings, allowing 10 hits and five runs -- four earned.

Notes

The Astros were shut out 2-0 in successive games in Pittsburgh April 25 and 27 in what became a two-game series due to a rainout. ... Faces in the crowd: Arnold Palmer and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a Pittsburgh native who also watched the Pirates-Cubs game Friday in Wrigley Field. Cuban said then he'd be interested in buying the Pirates if the team ever came on the market and doing so would keep them in Pittsburgh. Cuban declined Monday to talk about those remarks. ... Despite the weekend sweep by St. Louis, the Astros have won eight of 12. ... The Astros are 2-4 against Pittsburgh. ... Ward is hitless in 22 at-bats.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Houston

H. Quintero
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 4
Houston

B. Backe
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 6
K 6
 

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Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF5120013 .294
Craig Biggio, 2B5000023 .279
    Mike Burns, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Lamb, PH-3B0001100 .220
Lance Berkman, 1B5032101 .299
    Orlando Palmeiro, LF0000000 .295
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3110204 .288
    Chad Harville, P0000000 .000
Jason Lane, RF6330015 .239
Adam Everett, SS3210114 .244
    Mike Gallo, P0000000 .000
    Jose Vizcaino, 2B-1B1000001 .220
Chris Burke, LF-2B4232111 .244
Humberto Quintero, C4224012 .150
Brandon Backe, P3021002 .294
    Eric Bruntlett, SS2000002 .170
Totals411117106728 
a-walked for Burns in the 9th
Batting
2B - Lance Berkman (15, Torres), Morgan Ensberg (21, D. Williams), Jason Lane (21, Vogelsong), Humberto Quintero (1, D. Williams), Brandon Backe (2, D. Williams)
3B - Brandon Backe (2, D. Williams)
SH - Humberto Quintero (1)
RBI - Mike Lamb (28), Lance Berkman 2 (35), Chris Burke 2 (14), Humberto Quintero 4 (5), Brandon Backe (6)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Lamb (14), Lance Berkman 2 (17), Chris Burke 2 (4), Humberto Quintero 3 (4), Brandon Backe (5)
CS - Willy Taveras (8, 2nd base by D. Williams/Doumit)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Biggio-Bruntlett-Berkman, Burke-Bruntlett-Vizcaino
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (W,8-6) 6311660 4.87
Mike Gallo 1100000 3.86
Mike Burns 1100000 4.20
Chad Harville 1100000 6.12
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 101-57, Mike Gallo 11-8, Mike Burns 18-9, Chad Harville 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 5-7, Mike Gallo 1-1, Mike Burns 2-1, Chad Harville 2-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 27, Mike Gallo 3, Mike Burns 4, Chad Harville 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Duffy, CF5120013 .231
Matt Lawton, RF3010101 .277
    Ryan Vogelsong, P0000000 .250
    Brian Meadows, P0000000 .000
Jason Bay, LF2000211 .289
Rob Mackowiak, 3B-1B3000114 .277
Jose Castillo, 2B4011023 .278
Daryle Ward, 1B3000004 .258
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .500
    Michael Restovich, RF0000000 .250
   a- Tike Redman, PH-RF1000000 .271
Ryan Doumit, C4000001 .179
Jack Wilson, SS3020110 .226
David Williams, P0000100 .077
    Freddy Sanchez, 3B2000001 .262
Totals301616618 
a-grounded out for Restovich in the 8th
Batting
SH - David Williams (5)
RBI - Jose Castillo (32)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Mackowiak-Castillo-Ward
PB - Ryan Doumit (1)
E - Ryan Doumit (1, Missed catch), Chris Duffy (1, Wild throw)
Pittsburgh Pirates
David Williams (L,7-7) 51054150 4.53
Salomon Torres 2322110 3.83
Ryan Vogelsong 1.2444410 5.55
Brian Meadows 0.1000000 5.45
IBB - Ensberg by Salomon Torres
HBP - Ensberg (by David Williams), Taveras (by Ryan Vogelsong)
Pitches-Strikes - David Williams 103-73, Salomon Torres 28-17, Ryan Vogelsong 46-20, Brian Meadows 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Williams 4-4, Salomon Torres 5-0, Ryan Vogelsong 2-2
Batters Faced - David Williams 25, Salomon Torres 10, Ryan Vogelsong 14, Brian Meadows 1
Game Information
Attendance - 17590
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Ron Kulpa