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Pittsburgh at Houston

Pittsburgh (38-46) «002000400670
Houston (40-42)0010011003102

Pirates 6, Astros 3

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Jack Wilson turns into a home run hitter every time he comes to Houston.

Wilson hit a two-run drive and finished with three RBI, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Astros 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Accustomed to playing at PNC Park, which he called "the biggest baseball field ever," Wilson said he adopts a different approach at Minute Maid Park with its short left field porch.

"You notice right away in [batting practice] that it doesn't take a whole lot to get it out of here," said Wilson, who has hit 10 of his 60 career homers in Houston. "If the pitcher throws it inside, you know you can get under it a little. You just play to the elements."

Wilson singled in a run in Pittsburgh's four-run seventh and Paul Maholm pitched six solid innings for the Pirates, who ended a three-game skid.

Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman and Michael Bourn each drove in a run for Houston, which finished with 10 hits. Ivan Rodriguez went 3 for 4 and All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada had two hits.

Berkman also committed a key error in Pittsburgh's big seventh inning. The Pirates loaded the bases with one out on three consecutive walks before Jason Jaramillo hit a grounder to first.

Berkman tried to go home but Rodriguez couldn't handle his one-hop throw, allowing Garrett Jones to score.

"Defensively we stunk," Berkman said. "The biggest blunder was that bad throw."

Astros manager Cecil Cooper felt his team let this one slip away.

"We got to make a play on the ground ball and we might be out of that whole deal right there," he said. "It's kind of a tough inning for us. A four-pitch walk and an errant throw. If it wasn't for that, we'd probably win that game."

Pinch-hitter Delwyn Young, Andrew McCutchen and Wilson followed Berkman's blunder with RBI singles to give the Pirates a 6-2 lead.

That was enough for Maholm (6-4), who allowed two runs and six hits. The left-hander was coming off a poor start against the New York Mets, when he gave up six runs and 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings.

"I made it through the first two times of the lineup without really having to use a breaking ball," he said. "The sinker and the changeup were getting a lot of grounders and if I was missing, I was just missing off the plate or down. Staying away from the middle of the plate was the biggest thing."

Joel Hanrahan replaced Maholm and was charged with a run while recording just one out. John Grabow allowed three hits in 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Matt Capps pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save.

Wilson drove in McCutchen with a two-out drive in the third but Houston rallied. Berkman had a run-scoring groundout in the bottom half and scored on All-Star Hunter Pence's base hit in the sixth.

Brian Moehler (5-5) retired the next 11 batters after Wilson's homer and was replaced by Tim Byrdak after he issued consecutive walks with one out in the seventh. He allowed three hits and four runs.

The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Jeff Keppinger grounded into a double play.


Pittsburgh 2B Freddy Sanchez missed his fifth consecutive start with back spasms and manager John Russell said they hope to have the All-Star back in the lineup by Friday. Russell said Sanchez is feeling better and took some light swings. ... Pirates C Ryan Doumit, on the disabled list with a wrist injury, is 0 for 12 in four rehabilitation games in the minors after going 0 for 3 and catching seven innings on Monday for Triple-A Indianapolis.

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

J. Wilson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

I. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF5121010 .299
Jack Wilson, SS4123000 .275
Brandon Moss, RF4000002 .255
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000021 .259
Garrett Jones, LF3120100 .296
Andy LaRoche, 3B3100102 .268
Ramon Vazquez, 2B3100101 .239
Jason Jaramillo, C4000000 .255
Paul Maholm, P2000020 .088
   a- Delwyn Young, PH1111000 .317
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeff Salazar, PH1000000 .000
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Maholm in the 7th
b-flied out for Grabow in the 9th
2B - Andrew McCutchen (8, Moehler)
HR - Jack Wilson (4, Moehler)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (21), Jack Wilson 3 (31), Delwyn Young (17)
2-OUT RBI - Jack Wilson 3 (14)
SB - Garrett Jones 2 (2, 2nd base off Moehler/Rodriguez, 2nd base off Arias/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 4
DP - LaRoche-Vazquez-LaRoche, LaRoche-Vazquez-LaRoche, J. Wilson-Vazquez-LaRoche
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (W,6-4) 6622220 4.60
Joel Hanrahan 0.1111100 7.97
John Grabow (H,15) 1.2300100 3.49
Matt Capps (S,19) 1000000 4.71
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 85-48, Joel Hanrahan 12-5, John Grabow 20-14, Matt Capps 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 9-5, Joel Hanrahan 1-0, John Grabow 3-1, Matt Capps 3-0
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 24, Joel Hanrahan 3, John Grabow 8, Matt Capps 3
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4101110 .282
Miguel Tejada, SS5020000 .329
Lance Berkman, 1B4111002 .270
Carlos Lee, LF4020001 .297
Hunter Pence, RF4011012 .301
Ivan Rodriguez, C4030001 .250
Kazuo Matsui, 2B2110201 .231
Jeff Keppinger, 3B3000103 .263
Brian Moehler, P2000000 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .000
   a- Darin Erstad, PH1000001 .165
    Alberto Arias, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Kata, PH1000000 .188
a-hit into fielder's choice for Sampson in the 7th
b-grounded out for Arias in the 9th
2B - Miguel Tejada (29, Maholm)
RBI - Michael Bourn (20), Lance Berkman (49), Hunter Pence (35)
2-OUT RBI - Hunter Pence (13)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Carlos Lee 1
DP - Matsui-Tejada-Berkman
E - Lance Berkman (6, Throwing), Miguel Tejada (11, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler (L,5-5) 6.1343241 5.52
Tim Byrdak0011100 3.90
Chris Sampson 0.2311000 2.74
Alberto Arias 2100010 1.82
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 86-55, Tim Byrdak 4-0, Chris Sampson 5-5, Alberto Arias 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 10-5, Chris Sampson 2-0, Alberto Arias 1-4
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 24, Tim Byrdak 1, Chris Sampson 5, Alberto Arias 7
Game Information
Attendance - 27142
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Mike Everitt