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Houston at Pittsburgh

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Houston (2-6) «202000000480
Pittsburgh (4-4)000000001191

Astros 4, Pirates 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Mike Hampton delivered a vintage performance.

The Houston left-hander pitched six shutout innings and the Astros snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Hampton (1-1) allowed four singles, walked one and struck out eight.

"It was nice to go out there and pitch well and get a win for us," Hampton said. "It's something we needed. Hopefully, it gives us some momentum. We played a great game all-around tonight."

Hampton is looking to regain his old form in his second stint with the Astros following four injury-plaqued seasons in Atlanta. The 36-year-old was limited to 25 starts from 2005-08 and missed the entire 2006-07 seasons.

Against Pittsburgh, he performed like the pitcher who went 22-4 for Houston in 1999 and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting.

Hampton threw 100 pitches, 65 for strikes, and didn't allow a runner to reach second base until the sixth.

"He was pretty good tonight," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "I don't know if his velocity is still the same, but he knows how to pitch. He got ahead in the counts, kept the ball down and had success."

Hampton improved to 11-3 in his career against Pittsburgh and has won seven consecutive starts against the Pirates dating back to 2000.

Wednesday's start was Hampton's first against Pittsburgh since Sept. 7, 2003, when he was with the Braves. Only four Pirates batters had faced him before.

Those seeing him for the first time were impressed.

"All of his pitches were moving," said Pirates 1B Adam LaRoche, who homered and had two hits. "He was effectively wild. He's been around. He know what he's doing. He was on his game."

Carlos Lee drove in three runs, Miguel Tejada had three hits and scored two runs, and Lance Berkman added two hits to help revive the Astros' struggling offense for at least a night.

Houston began the game with a major-league worst 16 runs scored this season, including shutouts in its previous two games.

The Astros snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak with two runs in the first against Pittsburgh starter Ross Ohlendorf (0-2).

Michael Bourn walked on four pitches to start the game, and Tejada and Berkman singled to load the bases. Lee and Hunter Pence followed with back-to-back sacrifice flies.

Houston made it 4-0 in the third. Tejada led off with a single, Berkman doubled, and Lee followed with a two-run double.

"The at-bats were much better tonight," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "We need to string hits together, and we did a good job, particularly early."

Berkman snapped an 0-for-10 streak with his two hits.

"We got what we needed early," he said. "It always helps when your pitcher throws six shutout innings. Mike did a great job. It's a combination that we needed."

Ohlendorf, who allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings, said he set a bad tone for the game by walking Bourn.

"I felt good warming up," he said. "I just wasn't able to locate my fastball well, right from the start."

Hampton, meanwhile, sailed through the first five innings before escaping trouble in the sixth.

Luis Cruz led off with a single. Nyjer Morgan and Freddy Sanchez struck out before Nate McLouth singled. Ryan Doumit then hit a deep fly ball that Lee caught at the left field wall.

"That was a case where I was running on fumes a little bit," Hampton said. "I thought it was gone when he hit it. I was fortunate it stayed in the park."

LaRoche gave the Pirates their only run when he led off the ninth with a home run off Jose Valverde.

LaRoche's home run was his third of the season and raised his batting average to .267, a positive sign for a player who entered the game with a .185 career batting average in March/April.

"It's still early," LaRoche said. "I'm not holding my breathe yet."

Notes

Pirates SS Jack Wilson was scratched from the starting lineup about an hour before Wednesday's game with a bruised left middle finger. Wilson, who was replaced by Ramon Vazquez, had a pinch-hit single in the seventh. ... Pittsburgh 3B Andy LaRoche went 0-for-2 and now is hitless in 16 at-bats this season. ... McLouth had two hits and reached base three times for the Pirates. ... Berkman is 5-for-8 (.625) with a home run in his career against Ohlendorf.

 
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

M. Hampton
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 8
Houston

C. Lee
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3100111 .280
Miguel Tejada, SS4230000 .333
Lance Berkman, 1B4120011 .214
Carlos Lee, LF3013011 .207
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Hunter Pence, RF3011001 .310
Geoff Blum, 3B3000103 .286
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000002 .185
Jeff Keppinger, 2B4010000 .462
Mike Hampton, P3000012 .000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
    Darin Erstad, LF1000010 .000
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Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada (2, Ohlendorf), Lance Berkman (2, Ohlendorf), Carlos Lee (2, Ohlendorf), Jeff Keppinger (2, Ohlendorf)
SF - Carlos Lee (1), Hunter Pence (2)
RBI - Carlos Lee 3 (4), Hunter Pence (4)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Blum-Keppinger-Berkman, Berkman
Houston Astros
Mike Hampton (W,1-1) 6400180 2.45
Geoff Geary 1200100 4.50
LaTroy Hawkins 1100000 6.00
Jose Valverde 1211011 3.00
WP - Geoff Geary (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Hampton 95-62, Geoff Geary 26-16, LaTroy Hawkins 18-12, Jose Valverde 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Hampton 4-5, Geoff Geary 1-1
Batters Faced - Mike Hampton 22, Geoff Geary 5, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Jose Valverde 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, LF4010021 .371
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4000012 .333
Nate McLouth, CF3020101 .214
Ryan Doumit, C4000015 .212
Adam LaRoche, 1B4121011 .267
Craig Monroe, RF4010011 .143
Andy LaRoche, 3B2000001 .000
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   a- Jack Wilson, PH1010000 .346
    Craig Hansen, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
   b- Eric Hinske, PH1010000 .273
Ramon Vazquez, SS-3B3000122 .200
Ross Ohlendorf, P1000010 .000
   c- Brandon Moss, PH0000000 .261
    Luis Cruz, SS2010002 .500
Totals3319129  
a-singled for J. Chavez in the 7th
b-singled for Burnett in the 9th
c-?? for Ohlendorf in the 5th
Batting
HR - Adam LaRoche (3, Valverde)
RBI - Adam LaRoche (5)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - LaRoche-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
E - Ramon Vazquez (1, Dropped fly)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ross Ohlendorf (L,0-2) 5844120 4.91
Jesse Chavez 2000120 2.25
Craig Hansen 1.2000000 0.00
Sean Burnett 0.1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 85-56, Jesse Chavez 32-21, Craig Hansen 14-9, Sean Burnett 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 5-7, Jesse Chavez 3-1, Craig Hansen 1-4
Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 23, Jesse Chavez 7, Craig Hansen 5, Sean Burnett 1
Game Information
Attendance - 20690
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 48
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Mike Winters