Pittsburgh at Houston

W: J. Gutierrez (1-1) L: M. Morris (9-10)
S: B. Lidge (15)
HR: PIT - R. Paulino (11), J. Wilson (10), J. Wilson (11)   HOU - C. Lee (29), T. Wigginton (20), T. Wigginton (21)

Astros 9, Pirates 7

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Cecil Cooper was more focused on the superb job his bullpen did than Houston's offensive outburst.

Ty Wigginton homered twice and Carlos Lee drove in three runs to help the Astros rally to beat Pittsburgh 9-7 on Saturday night.

Trailing 5-0, Juan Gutierrez (1-1) relieved in the fourth inning and pitched two hitless innings to earn the win. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 21 tries.

Gutierrez, Felipe Paulino and Dennis Sarfate shut the Pirates out from the fourth through seventh innings and Chad Qualls and Lidge didn't allow a hit or a run in the eighth and ninth after Stephen Randolph struggled to start the eighth.

"I love what I saw in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings," Cooper said. "Gutierrez was solid throwing 93-94, then Paulino came in and was hitting 98. Sarfate had a nice breaking ball and threw a few 97 mile-an-hour pitches. It was an excellent job by the bullpen."

Wigginton agreed.

"First and foremost, you have to point toward the bullpen," he said. "They did a great job and gave us a chance to get back in it. We had some big hits with men in scoring position. Lately we've had a few opportunities we didn't capitalize on so it was nice to see a game like this."

Lee hit his 250th career homer and kept the ball as a souvenir. "You realize at some point, things have to go our way," Lee said. "We have a lot better team than we've shown but things don't always go your way. We need to finish strong and play hard the rest of the way."

The Astros snapped a three-game losing streak, but have still lost eight of 10.

Wandy Rodriguez lasted only three innings and allowed five runs and five hits.

Matt Morris (9-10) was hit on the back of the hand by a line drive from Hunter Pence in the first inning. Morris stayed in the game then received X-rays afterwards that proved negative. He lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs and nine hits and a walk.

"I was going off adrenaline and I think they wanted to ice it down during the game, but I just wanted to keep it going," said Morris, who insisted he would make his next start. "It just didn't work out tonight."

Jack Wilson hit two home runs and Ronny Paulino had four RBI for the Pirates. Pittsburgh made only one error, but also had some mental miscues. They did not field a dribbler by Pence in the fourth and failed to get an out on a bunt by J.R. Towles in the fifth inning that helped lead to a run.

"Bottom line tonight is that we did not pitch well in spots and we didn't play well defensively," manager Jim Tracy said. "We have been playing well defensively all season and I can't remember the last time that we played this poorly defensively.

"In the fourth inning, especially, there seemed to be some confusion on the dribbler that Pence hit and that just was the start of it."

Steve Pearce led off the second inning with a double and scored on Paulino's single to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

After Freddy Sanchez singled and Jason Bay was hit by a pitch to start the third inning, Paulino hit a three-run homer, his 11th of the season. Wilson followed with his 10th home run to make it 5-0.

But Morris ran into trouble in the fourth when Lee led off with his 29th homer. Pence then singled and one out later, Wigginton hit a two-run shot to make it 5-3.

Josh Anderson's RBI single closed it to 5-4 and Craig Biggio singled to load the bases. Lance Berkman was then hit by a pitch to send home the tying run.

Reliever Solomon Torres came in and Lee, batting for the second time in the inning, hit a two-run single to give Houston a 7-5 lead.

In the fifth inning, pinch-hitter Jason Lane hit a bases-loaded grounder to first and was called out when he collided with first baseman Pearce at the bag. A run scored to make it 8-5 and Wigginton's solo homer in the seventh inning pushed the score to 9-5.

Wilson's two-run homer in the eighth got Pittsburgh within two.


Morris made his 300th major league start. His first start was against the Astros on April 4, 1997. ... In the fifth inning, Zach Duke made his first relief appearance after 65 major league starts. ... The homers by Paulino and Wilson were the fourth time this season Pittsburgh has hit back-to-back homers. Wilson had his first career two-homer game.

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.
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Players of the Game

J. Wilson
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 2

T. Wigginton
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2

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April 21, 2017
Stock Down: Pittsburgh Pirates (0:55)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, CF4010111 .226
Jose Bautista, 3B4000124 .262
Freddy Sanchez, 2B5110011 .312
Jason Bay, LF3100110 .252
Xavier Nady, RF5000034 .284
Steve Pearce, 1B2110100 .311
    Zach Duke, P0000000 .233
   a- Matt Kata, PH1000010 .226
    Juan Perez, P0000000 .000
Ronny Paulino, C3224101 .264
Jack Wilson, SS4233001 .294
Matt Morris, P1000010 .208
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
    Josh Phelps, 1B2000011 .313
a-struck out for Duke in the 8th
2B - Steve Pearce (4, Rodriguez)
3B - Nyjer Morgan (1, Randolph)
HR - Ronny Paulino (11, Rodriguez), Jack Wilson 2 (11, Rodriguez, Randolph)
SH - Matt Morris (11)
RBI - Ronny Paulino 4 (54), Jack Wilson 3 (55)
2-OUT RBI - Ronny Paulino 3 (19), Jack Wilson (13)
Team LOB - 7
DP - J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-Pearce, J. Wilson-F. Sanchez-Pearce
E - Jose Bautista (16, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Matt Morris (L,9-10) 3.1977102 4.84
Salomon Torres 0.2100000 5.32
Zach Duke 3321001 5.70
Juan Perez 1000010 3.12
HBP - Berkman (by Matt Morris)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Morris 54-36, Salomon Torres 8-5, Zach Duke 46-30, Juan Perez 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Morris 7-3, Salomon Torres 1-0, Zach Duke 6-4, Juan Perez 1-1
Batters Faced - Matt Morris 21, Salomon Torres 2, Zach Duke 13, Juan Perez 3
Houston Astros
Josh Anderson, CF5121003 .308
Craig Biggio, 2B4110013 .251
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Lance Berkman, 1B4011001 .277
Carlos Lee, LF4123002 .297
Hunter Pence, RF4110003 .326
Mark Loretta, SS-2B4120000 .283
Ty Wigginton, 3B4223001 .281
J.R. Towles, C4120000 .400
Wandy Rodriguez, P0000000 .116
   a- Cody Ransom, PH0000100 .091
    Juan Gutierrez, P0100000 .000
   b- Jason Lane, PH1001000 .179
    Felipe Paulino, P0000000 .000
    Dennis Sarfate, P0000000 .000
   c- Chris Burke, PH1000000 .224
    Stephen Randolph, P0000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Eric Bruntlett, SS0000000 .240
a-walked for Rodriguez in the 3rd
b-grounded out for Gutierrez in the 5th
c-popped out for Sarfate in the 7th
2B - Josh Anderson (1, Morris)
HR - Carlos Lee (29, Morris), Ty Wigginton 2 (21, Morris, Duke)
SH - Craig Biggio (5), Juan Gutierrez (1)
RBI - Josh Anderson (2), Lance Berkman (92), Carlos Lee 3 (109), Ty Wigginton 3 (64), Jason Lane (27)
Team LOB - 6
PB - J.R. Towles (1)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez 3555352 4.83
Juan Gutierrez (W,1-1) 2000100 6.10
Felipe Paulino (H,1) 1100020 11.25
Dennis Sarfate (H,1) 1000010 0.00
Stephen Randolph 0.2222111 13.50
Chad Qualls (H,19) 0.1000000 3.29
Brad Lidge (S,15) 1000020 2.77
HBP - Bay (by Wandy Rodriguez)
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 58-37, Juan Gutierrez 25-16, Felipe Paulino 16-10, Dennis Sarfate 11-8, Stephen Randolph 21-10, Chad Qualls 3-2, Brad Lidge 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 4-0, Juan Gutierrez 2-4, Felipe Paulino 1-0, Dennis Sarfate 2-0, Chad Qualls 1-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 18, Juan Gutierrez 7, Felipe Paulino 4, Dennis Sarfate 3, Stephen Randolph 5, Chad Qualls 1, Brad Lidge 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40425
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Jerry Meals