Pittsburgh at Houston

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Pittsburgh «010000020390
Houston000011000270

Nady's second straight big night propels Pirates

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

HOUSTON -- Two games into the season, Xavier Nady has emerged as a nemesis for the Houston Astros.

Not even he can explain how.

Nady singled home Jason Bay for the go-ahead run off Dan Wheeler and homered for the second straight night, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 win over the Astros on Tuesday.

In Monday's opener, Nady hit the tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning off closer Brad Lidge. The Pirates won 4-2 in 10 innings.

"It's just one of those things," said Nady, who has knocked in a run with each of his three hits in the series. "It's still early and I'm just trying to give quality at-bats."

Pirates starter Ian Snell struck out a career-high 11, but didn't get a decision. He gave up Carlos Lee's RBI single in the sixth that gave Houston a 2-1 lead.

But the Astros' bullpen failed again -- and this time, Lidge didn't even throw a pitch.

Wheeler (0-1) started the eighth and got Chris Duffy to pop out. Jack Wilson then beat out a bunt single and Bay walked before Adam LaRoche lined out.

Ronny Paulino singled to left to score Wilson and tie the game. Nady followed with an RBI single to right.

"It wasn't like he really got beat up," Houston manager Phil Garner said about Wheeler. "But those things are going to happen once in a while."

Jonah Bayliss (1-0) earned the win after retiring Craig Biggio to end the seventh. Salomon Torres shut out the Astros in the ninth to earn his second save.

The Pirates started 0-6 last season and were 3-79 when trailing after seven innings. They've already won two such games this year and matched their best start since 2003, when they opened 4-0.

"This was two very good games for us," manager Jim Tracy said. "A lot of things are happening good. We did some things again tonight that took us a while to figure out last year."

Houston starter Jason Jennings retired the first five Pirates he faced before Nady homered in his second consecutive at-bat in Houston, sending a 2-0 pitch onto the left-field porch.

Snell was almost untouchable through the first five innings, striking out 10 of the first 15 Astros he faced.

Only 25, Snell was already making his 39th career start, and the experience is starting to show.

"Last year, I probably would've had a little bit of jitters in a game like this," he said.

He looked unfazed all night in Houston, even when Adam Everett led off the third with a double down the left-field line. Snell regrouped, fanning Brad Ausmus, getting Jennings to fly out and striking out Biggio.

"Everything was working," Snell said, "and they were swinging at a lot of pitches and that helped me out."

Snell started the fifth with his ninth strikeout, fanning Morgan Ensberg, but Jason Lane homered into the left-field seats. Lane started in right field in place of Luke Scott, who homered in the opener but didn't start Tuesday because of a stiff right elbow.

Snell struck out Ausmus for the second time to end the fifth inning and match his previous career high for strikeouts (10).

"The job he did was a fairly dominant performance," Tracy said.

Orlando Palmiero, pinch-hitting for Jennings, led off the sixth with a single to right.

After Palmeiro reached, Snell returned to form, striking out Biggio for the third time. Chris Burke grounded out and Snell intentionally walked Lance Berkman to get to Lee, the slugger who signed the richest contract in Astros history in November.

Lee made up for two strikeouts with a bloop single to center that scored Palmeiro and gave Houston a 2-1 lead.

Tracy didn't see that as a glitch in Snell's performance.

"That was just a very good hitter hitting a very good pitch," Tracy said. "I've seen Snell pretty good and I'm seeing him that way again. He's a pitcher who's growing and he's starting to believe he belongs here."

Chad Qualls replaced Jennings to start the seventh and gave up a single to Jose Bautista, but nothing else. Qualls allowed Bay's go-ahead, two-run homer in the 10th inning Monday.

But Wheeler couldn't hold the lead and accepted the blame that Lidge shouldered the previous night.

"I put myself in position to get out of that inning with one pitch and I just wasn't able to make that pitch," said Wheeler, who had a 2.52 ERA in 75 appearances last season.

Notes

  • Pirates RHP Brad Lincoln underwent Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow and will miss the 2007 season. Lincoln was the Pirates' first-round draft pick last season. The Pirates expect Lincoln to miss 10-12 months, but be ready for the 2008 season.
  • Pirates RHP Dan Kolb and OF Luis Matos accepted their assignments to the minor leagues and are scheduled to report to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.
  • Scott pinch-hit in the ninth inning, but grounded out to end the game.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Xavier Nady is a thorn in the side of the Astros once again, recording two hits and two RBI.  (AP)
Xavier Nady is a thorn in the side of the Astros once again, recording two hits and two RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

I. Snell
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 1
K 11
Houston

J. Lane
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Duffy, CF5010020 .222
Jack Wilson, SS4120000 .444
Jason Bay, LF3110101 .250
Adam LaRoche, 1B3000113 .000
Ronny Paulino, C4011013 .111
Xavier Nady, RF4122020 .375
Jose Bautista, 3B4010002 .375
Jose Castillo, 2B4010020 .143
Ian Snell, P2000011 .000
   a- Nate McLouth, PH1000001 .500
    John Wasdin, P0000000 .000
    Juan Perez, P0000000 .000
    Jonah Bayliss, P0000000 .000
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Doumit, PH1000000 .000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
Totals3539329  
a-popped out for Snell in the 7th
b-grounded out for Capps in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jack Wilson (1, J. Jennings)
HR - Xavier Nady (2, J. Jennings)
RBI - Ronny Paulino (1), Xavier Nady 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ronny Paulino (1), Xavier Nady 2 (3)
Team LOB - 7
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell 64221111 3.00
John Wasdin 0.2200000 0.00
Juan Perez0100000 0.00
Jonah Bayliss (W,1-0) 0.1000000 0.00
Matt Capps (H,1) 1000010 0.00
Salomon Torres (S,2) 1000000 0.00
IBB - Berkman by Ian Snell
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 77-52, John Wasdin 10-7, Juan Perez 5-2, Jonah Bayliss 2-2, Matt Capps 10-8, Salomon Torres 13-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 2-5, John Wasdin 1-0, Salomon Torres 2-1
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 23, John Wasdin 3, Juan Perez 1, Jonah Bayliss 1, Matt Capps 3, Salomon Torres 3
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B4000034 .125
Chris Burke, CF4000010 .250
Lance Berkman, 1B3000110 .167
Carlos Lee, LF4011020 .125
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4000022 .125
Jason Lane, RF4121010 .500
Adam Everett, SS3010001 .286
   a- Luke Scott, PH1000000 .400
Brad Ausmus, C3010021 .167
Jason Jennings, P1000001 .000
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1110000 .500
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   c- Mike Lamb, PH10100001.000
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Rick White, P0000000 .000
Totals33272112  
a-grounded out for Everett in the 9th
b-singled for J. Jennings in the 6th
c-singled for Qualls in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adam Everett (2, Snell)
HR - Jason Lane (1, Snell)
RBI - Carlos Lee (1), Jason Lane (1)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (1)
CS - Adam Everett (1, 2nd base by Wasdin/Paulino)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Everett-Berkman
Houston Astros
Jason Jennings 6511171 1.50
Chad Qualls (H,1) 1100010 9.00
Dan Wheeler (BS,1; L,0-1) 1322100 13.50
Rick White 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Jennings 68-41, Chad Qualls 13-11, Dan Wheeler 29-17, Rick White 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Jennings 4-6, Chad Qualls 1-1, Rick White 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Jennings 23, Chad Qualls 4, Dan Wheeler 7, Rick White 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31238
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Dana DeMuth