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Pittsburgh at Houston

W: P. Maholm (4-2) L: R. Oswalt (2-3)
S: M. Capps (13)
HR: PIT - None   HOU - H. Pence (7)

Pirates 6, Astros 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Paul Maholm's big hit helped end a difficult stretch on the mound for the left-hander.

Maholm pitched seven innings and drove in a run with an infield single, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

Maholm (4-2) allowed four runs and eight hits to pick up his first win since April 22 against Florida. He was 0-2 with five no-decisions in his previous seven starts.

"It's been frustrating," he said. "But you just have to understand that over 34 starts in a season, you're going to have little stretches like that. You just have to keep working and not let it bother you.

"Sometimes you give up four runs and win and sometimes you give up one and get a no-decision. That's just the way it goes."

Maholm went seven innings and allowed only one earned run in losing to the Astros just a week ago in Pittsburgh.

"He threw the ball well after a little bit of a shaky start tonight," Pirates manager John Russell said. "I think he got stronger as the game went on. His pitches got a lot better the last two innings."

Jack Wilson doubled twice and drove in a run and Andrew McCutchen delivered a two-run single for the Pirates, who snapped a five-game losing streak at Minute Maid Park. Adam LaRoche and Andy LaRoche each had two hits.

John Grabow worked the eighth and Matt Capps finished for his 13th save in 15 tries.

Roy Oswalt (2-3) gave up six runs and nine hits in six innings for the Astros, falling to 13-7 with a 2.62 ERA in 26 career games, 25 starts, against the Pirates.

Oswalt had won seven of his last eight decisions against Pittsburgh. The six runs tied for the most the right-hander has allowed versus the Pirates, set July 16, 2002.

Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer in the first for the Astros but Pittsburgh responded with three in the second. Maholm hit a slow bouncer to second with the bases loaded that got past Oswalt and drove in Andy LaRoche. McCutchen followed with a single to right to make it 3-2.

Astros manager Cecil Cooper said Maholm's dribbler was a big turning point.

"Roy probably should have made that play," Cooper said. "Roy will tell you he probably should have made it. It's big because if he makes the play, we're out of the inning with zeros. It got away from him a little. It was one of those nights."

Oswalt didn't make any excuses.

"I thought I had it but the ball went through my glove," he said. "I pitched myself into that trouble. That was probably the most out of place I've ever felt on the mound during the second and third innings. I couldn't throw the ball anywhere I wanted to. I was scared to throw a breaking ball."

The Pirates also scored three times in the third. Brandon Moss and Wilson had RBI doubles, and Jason Jaramillo drove in a run with a groundout.

Pence tripled and scored on Carlos Lee's groundout in the bottom half, and Lee added an RBI single in the fifth.


3B Andy LaRoche returned to the lineup after missing one game with a bruised right knee contusion. ... Astros reliever Geoff Geary will stay with the team as he rehabs his biceps tendinitis. ... Astros 2B Kaz Matsui, on the disabled list since May 26 with a left hamstring strain, has been doing some light running and fielded grounders before the game. He could return by the middle of next week. ... Wilson's double in the third gave him 25 career hits against Oswalt, the most by any opponent. Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is second at 23.

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 0
H 2
HR 0

H. Pence
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Nyjer Morgan, LF5000012 .269
Freddy Sanchez, 2B5010000 .312
Adam LaRoche, 1B4120100 .250
Andy LaRoche, 3B4220101 .302
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
Brandon Moss, RF4211002 .263
Jason Jaramillo, C3111110 .275
Jack Wilson, SS4021004 .273
Paul Maholm, P3011022 .125
   a- Delwyn Young, PH1000001 .306
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Ramon Vazquez, 3B0000000 .267
a-grounded out for Maholm in the 8th
2B - Adam LaRoche (19, Oswalt), Brandon Moss (10, Oswalt), Jason Jaramillo (9, Oswalt), Jack Wilson 2 (11, Oswalt, Sampson)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen 2 (3), Brandon Moss (14), Jason Jaramillo (13), Jack Wilson (19), Paul Maholm (2)
2-OUT RBI - Andrew McCutchen 2 (3), Jack Wilson (8), Paul Maholm (1)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (12, 2nd base off Hawkins/Rodriguez)
CS - Nyjer Morgan (6, 3rd base by Hawkins/Rodriguez), Adam LaRoche (1, 2nd base by Byrdak/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 8
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (W,4-2) 7844141 3.94
John Grabow (H,9) 1100100 4.13
Matt Capps (S,13) 1100000 5.30
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 104-69, John Grabow 19-11, Matt Capps 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 12-5, John Grabow 2-1, Matt Capps 1-2
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 30, John Grabow 5, Matt Capps 4
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5000011 .294
Miguel Tejada, SS5230000 .356
Hunter Pence, RF4222101 .347
Carlos Lee, LF4022000 .321
Lance Berkman, 1B3000103 .240
Ivan Rodriguez, C4010001 .265
Jeff Keppinger, 3B4010001 .266
Edwin Maysonet, 2B4010013 .366
Roy Oswalt, P2000021 .125
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1000001 .163
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000000 .135
a-flied out for Oswalt in the 6th
b-grounded out for Hawkins in the 9th
2B - Miguel Tejada (21, Maholm), Carlos Lee (12, Maholm)
3B - Hunter Pence (4, Maholm)
HR - Hunter Pence (7, Maholm)
RBI - Hunter Pence 2 (25), Carlos Lee 2 (37)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (11)
Team LOB - 8
E - Jeff Keppinger (1, Misplayed grounder), Edwin Maysonet (1, Missed catch of throw)
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (L,2-3) 6966130 4.66
Tim Byrdak 1000210 3.00
Chris Sampson 1100010 1.85
LaTroy Hawkins 1100000 2.28
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 105-70, Tim Byrdak 24-13, Chris Sampson 15-9, LaTroy Hawkins 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 6-9, Tim Byrdak 1-1, Chris Sampson 1-1, LaTroy Hawkins 3-0
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 28, Tim Byrdak 5, Chris Sampson 4, LaTroy Hawkins 4
Game Information
Attendance - 26099
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Sam Holbrook