Pittsburgh at Houston

W: M. McLemore (3-0) L: S. Chacon (4-4)
S: B. Lidge (13)
HR: PIT - F. Sanchez (10)   HOU - T. Wigginton (19)

Astros 5, Pirates 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Brad Lidge couldn't completely keep the past out of mind.

So he pitched very carefully to Xavier Nady in the ninth inning, walking the pinch hitter before recording two strikeouts to preserve the Houston Astros' 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

"I didn't want to do anything that could possibly duplicate what happened the other times," Lidge said. "I just wanted to be smart."

The save came just two days after Nady hit a two-out home run in the ninth inning that blew a save for Lidge in a game Pittsburgh went on to win in 15 innings. And it was an almost identical scenario to the Astros' season-opener, when Nady hit a two-out homer in the ninth off Lidge to tie the game. The Astros lost that one in 10 innings.

"I wanted to be smart this time against him," said Lidge, who has 13 saves in 19 tries. "There's a reason he has done well against me. He's a good hitter. I was certainly aware of what he has done this year against me."

Ty Wigginton hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as Houston rallied to avoid a three-game sweep.

The Astros trailed 4-1 before scoring twice in the sixth. Luke Scott then hit a one-out double in the eighth and Wigginton hit the first pitch he saw from reliever Shawn Chacon (4-4) to left field, his 19th homer of the year.

It was Wigginton's third home run since coming to the Astros in a July 28 trade with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"I was just looking to drive one and get Luke in," Wigginton said. "It feels good to win it with a home run."

It didn't feel so good to the Pirates.

"It was a first-pitch slider," Chacon said. "I was just trying to get ahead of the batter. It wasn't the best slider, but it was a pitch he could handle and he handled it."

Mark McLemore (3-0) went two innings in relief of Wandy Rodriguez, allowing one hit with three strikeouts.

"The bullpen pretty much shut them down," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "Dave Borkowski and Mark McLemore did a nice job in getting it to Lidge, and Lidge threw some good pitches when he had to."

Houston took the lead in the first on an RBI single by Lance Berkman. One out later, Berkman ended the inning when he tried to score from second on a single by Scott. He was nabbed at home plate and Berkman argued the call, but Astros third-base coach Doug Mansolino interceded to avoid Berkman getting tossed.

Cesar Izturis' RBI single in the second inning tied the score at 1-1, and the Pirates went ahead in the third when Adam LaRoche hit a broken-bat, two-run single to left after Rodriguez had walked the bases loaded.

Pittsburgh made it 4-1 in the fifth on Freddy Sanchez's 10th home run of the season.

Houston closed within one in the sixth when Berkman singled and Carlos Lee doubled down the left-field line. Berkman scored on Scott's infield grounder, and after Franquelis Osoria relieved Tony Armas, Mark Loretta drove in Lee with a single.

Armas pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk. He struck out three.

Rodriguez lasted five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven.

"This was a tough game to lose," said Pirates manager Jim Tracy, whose club still went 5-2 on its road trip. "I thought we did everything we could possibly do to win the game. They got a couple of big at-bats, and that's all it takes."


Jeff Bagwell had his No. 5 retired in a pregame ceremony Sunday. Then the game was played with three commemorative bases embossed with Bagwell's retirement ceremony on them. One was given to Bagwell and the other two will be auctioned off to the Astros in Action foundation. ... The Pirates lead the majors with 41 home runs this month, one ahead of the Yankees. ... Nate McLouth was caught stealing for the first time in 19 attempts, dating back to last season. His string was the third-longest in the majors behind Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (24) and Arizona's Eric Byrnes (20). ... Lee's sixth-inning double was his team-high 37th.

Copyright 2017 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.
Players of the Game

L. Berkman
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

L. Scott
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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Josh Phelps, C3010111 .333
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Adam LaRoche, 1B4022001 .266
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   a- Xavier Nady, PH0000100 .294
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a-walked for Chacon in the 9th
2B - Jason Bay (22, Rodriguez)
HR - Freddy Sanchez (10, Rodriguez)
RBI - Freddy Sanchez (61), Adam LaRoche 2 (77), Cesar Izturis (10)
2-OUT RBI - Adam LaRoche 2 (26), Cesar Izturis (5)
SB - Jose Bautista (6, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Ausmus)
CS - Nate McLouth (1, 2nd base by Rodriguez/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Jose Bautista 1
DP - R. Sanchez-Izturis-LaRoche
Pittsburgh Pirates
Tony Armas 5.1733140 6.93
Franquelis Osoria (H,2) 0.2100000 2.25
Romulo Sanchez (H,1) 0.2000100 0.00
Damaso Marte (H,11) 0.2111020 2.04
Shawn Chacon (BS,5; L,4-4) 0.2111011 4.16
HBP - Burke (by Tony Armas)
WP - Franquelis Osoria (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tony Armas 100-68, Franquelis Osoria 9-7, Romulo Sanchez 9-5, Damaso Marte 9-8, Shawn Chacon 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tony Armas 5-6, Romulo Sanchez 1-0, Shawn Chacon 1-0
Batters Faced - Tony Armas 24, Franquelis Osoria 3, Romulo Sanchez 2, Damaso Marte 3, Shawn Chacon 3
Houston Astros
Chris Burke, 2B2100100 .226
Hunter Pence, CF4000021 .321
Lance Berkman, 1B4131010 .272
Carlos Lee, LF4110021 .307
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Mark Loretta, SS4011001 .279
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Wandy Rodriguez, P1000001 .128
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000000 .239
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   b- Craig Biggio, PH1000002 .252
    Mark McLemore, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
a-lined out for Rodriguez in the 5th
b-popped out for Borkowski in the 6th
2B - Lance Berkman (16, Armas), Carlos Lee (37, Armas), Luke Scott (24, Marte)
HR - Ty Wigginton (19, Chacon)
RBI - Lance Berkman (82), Luke Scott (56), Ty Wigginton 2 (58), Mark Loretta (32)
SB - Chris Burke (8, 2nd base off Armas/Phelps)
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Wandy Rodriguez 5744371 4.67
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Brad Lidge (S,13) 1000120 3.07
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 110-70, Dave Borkowski 10-7, Mark McLemore 28-17, Brad Lidge 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 2-5, Dave Borkowski 1-2
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 24, Dave Borkowski 3, Mark McLemore 7, Brad Lidge 4
Game Information
Attendance - 42564
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Adam Dowdy, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Tim Timmons