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Pittsburgh at Houston

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (66-83)010100100341
Houston (65-84) «51520002x15220

Astros 15, Pirates 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Josh Anderson isn't playing like a guy who has 15 games in the major leagues under his belt.

The rookie reached base six times and drove in three runs, and Houston piled up 22 hits to help Brandon Backe win for the first time in more than a year as the Astros routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 15-3 on Sunday.

Anderson, who played 131 games with Triple-A Round Rock before arriving Sept. 1, had five hits and a walk to set a club rookie record for a nine-inning game. Joe Morgan reached base six times as a rookie against Milwaukee on July 8, 1965, in a 12-inning game.

"I'm a little bit surprised," said Anderson, who started his third straight game in center field and raised his batting average to .500. "I had a six-hit game in A-ball in 2004 and I had five hits one other time in the minors.

"It was just one of those days when you feel good, you feel locked in. It's hard to describe. I guess it's like a basketball player hitting several threes in a row."

It certainly impressed interim manager Cecil Cooper.

"He's an exciting young player," Cooper said. "Hopefully he'll get a chance to continue. It's pretty hard to bench a guy who had five hits. He'll definitely play tomorrow."

Chris Burke had three hits and four RBI and Ty Wigginton had a home run, double and single as Houston set a season-high for runs to win its second straight. The 22 hits were a club record for a home game.

Backe (1-1), who had Tommy John surgery Sept. 6 of last season, went six innings in his third start of the year and allowed two runs and three hits. He walked two and struck out two.

The right-hander, who started out as an infielder in the Devil Rays organization, also doubled, singled and scored twice.

Paul Maholm (10-15) wasn't nearly as good, lasting just 2 2/3 innings and giving up 10 runs and 11 hits. Maholm had beaten the Astros twice this season and allowed only two runs in 15 2/3 innings in those games. He's 3-3 against them in his career.

"I felt good, but for some reason I threw everything belt high and this is the wrong park to try that one in," Maholm said. "I make a perfect pitch to the first hitter and he gets on. Then all of the sudden, I start trying to throw hard for some reason."

Houston scored five in the first on Anderson's RBI double, a run-scoring single by Mark Loretta and Ransom's homer.

After Jack Wilson hit his 12th homer of the season in the second, Anderson's RBI single in the bottom half of the inning made it 6-1.

The Astros added five more and chased Maholm in the third inning. J.R. Towles had an RBI single and Burke a two-run single. Reliever Juan Perez then entered and gave up three straight singles, the last a two-run hit by Carlos Lee.

"Paul was rusty," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "He left a lot of balls in the middle of the plate. I just don't know what would have happened if he could have gotten through that first inning.

"That at-bat to Ransom in the first I thought was huge. There were two on and two out and that was the big one today. He gets through that one and who knows what he does the rest of the day."

Jason Bay hit his 21st home run in the fourth.

Wigginton led off the fourth with his 22nd home run, his sixth since coming to the Astros in a trade July 28. It was his third home run in two days.

Carlos Maldonado hit a solo homer in the seventh off reliever Mark McLemore. It was Maldonado's first career homer.

Burke hit a two-run homer in the eighth. It was his sixth home run of the year.

Notes

The previous home mark for hits was 21 set July 11, 1970, in the Astrodome against the Giants. ... The homer was Ransom's first in the majors since Aug. 14, 2004, when he played for the Giants against the Phillies. ... Wilson's double in the fourth was his 1,000th career hit. ... Brad Ausmus entered in the eighth inning to play third for the second time in his career. The first time the catcher played that position was Oct. 1, 2000, against Minnesota.
 
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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Players of the Game
Houston

B. Backe
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 2
BB 2
K 2
Houston

J. Anderson
AB 5
R 2
H 5
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, CF3000100 .214
Jose Bautista, 3B3000001 .261
    Bryan Bullington, P0000000 .500
   a- Nate McLouth, PH-LF1000000 .250
Freddy Sanchez, 2B2000001 .311
   b- Jose Castillo, PH-2B2000010 .239
Adam LaRoche, 1B3000011 .273
    Josh Phelps, 1B1000000 .311
Xavier Nady, RF3000010 .282
    Steve Pearce, RF1000000 .304
Jason Bay, LF3111010 .252
    Dave Davidson, P0000000 .000
   c- Ronny Paulino, PH1000000 .263
Jack Wilson, SS2121000 .297
    Cesar Izturis, SS1000000 .254
Carlos Maldonado, C2111101 .143
Paul Maholm, P1000001 .175
    Juan Perez, P0000000 .000
    Tony Armas, P0000000 .120
   d- Matt Kata, PH-3B2000000 .222
Totals3134324  
a-grounded out for Bullington in the 8th
b-popped out for F. Sanchez in the 6th
c-lined out for Davidson in the 9th
d-flied out for Armas in the 5th
Batting
2B - Jack Wilson (28, Backe)
HR - Jason Bay (21, Backe), Jack Wilson (12, Backe), Carlos Maldonado (1, McLemore)
RBI - Jason Bay (83), Jack Wilson (56), Carlos Maldonado (3)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Bay (25), Jack Wilson (14), Carlos Maldonado (1)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Izturis-Castillo-LaRoche
E - Adam LaRoche (6, Missed catch of throw)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (L,10-15) 2.2111010011 4.76
Juan Perez 0.1311000 4.00
Tony Armas 1322101 6.19
Bryan Bullington 3300110 6.55
Dave Davidson 1222201 22.50
HBP - Anderson (by Dave Davidson)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 61-40, Juan Perez 16-9, Tony Armas 28-17, Bryan Bullington 35-23, Dave Davidson 35-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 1-6, Tony Armas 2-1, Bryan Bullington 3-4, Dave Davidson 2-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 19, Juan Perez 4, Tony Armas 7, Bryan Bullington 12, Dave Davidson 8
Houston Astros
Chris Burke, SS4334101 .232
Josh Anderson, CF5253000 .500
Hunter Pence, RF5010116 .324
Carlos Lee, LF4012012 .297
    Eric Bruntlett, LF1010100 .246
Mark Loretta, 1B4221002 .285
    Mark McLemore, P0000000 .000
   a- Humberto Quintero, PH1000001 .200
    Brad Ausmus, 3B1000003 .234
Ty Wigginton, 3B5231002 .284
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .200
Cody Ransom, 2B5223001 .188
J.R. Towles, C5111000 .300
Brandon Backe, P3220000 .400
   b- Eric Munson, PH-1B1110100 .237
Totals4415221542  
a-hit into fielder's choice for McLemore in the 7th
b-singled for Backe in the 6th
Batting
2B - Josh Anderson (2, Maholm), Ty Wigginton (30, Maholm), Brandon Backe (1, Maholm)
HR - Chris Burke (6, Davidson), Ty Wigginton (22, Armas), Cody Ransom (1, Maholm)
SH - Chris Burke (8)
RBI - Chris Burke 4 (26), Josh Anderson 3 (5), Carlos Lee 2 (111), Mark Loretta (38), Ty Wigginton (65), Cody Ransom 3 (3), J.R. Towles (1)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Burke 4 (17), Josh Anderson (1), Carlos Lee 2 (51), Mark Loretta (21), Cody Ransom 3 (3)
SB - Chris Burke (9, 2nd base off Maholm/Maldonado)
Team LOB - 11
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (W,1-1) 6322222 4.86
Mark McLemore 1111011 4.03
Trever Miller 1000010 4.57
Brian Moehler 1000000 4.25
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 91-60, Mark McLemore 13-8, Trever Miller 13-9, Brian Moehler 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 6-10, Trever Miller 2-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 23, Mark McLemore 4, Trever Miller 3, Brian Moehler 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35715
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Larry Poncino, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Gary Darling