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Pittsburgh at Houston

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Pittsburgh (30-54)0003000003110
Houston (34-51) «10201110x671

Astros 6, Pirates 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros turned to the long ball after their starting pitcher went down with an injury.

Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman homered for the second straight game and the Astros hit a season-high four home runs in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

Jeff Keppinger and Hunter Pence added solo shots for the Astros, who came in with a major-league low 50 homers this season.

"They always say they come in bunches, so we'll take 'em," Berkman said. "We've had a dearth of them to this point in the season. Any time you can get four or five home runs in a game, we'll take it."

Casey Daigle (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to earn his first victory since May 2004. Astros starter Brian Moehler left after three innings with a strained right groin.

Moehler said the injury was minor, and he'll take advantage of the upcoming All-Star break to heal carefully.

"It's nothing I'm overly concerned about," Moehler said. "It couldn't have come at a better time, with four days off and then four days after that."

Berkman has homered in three straight games, the first time he's accomplished that feat since he hit homers in four consecutive games between July 29-Aug. 2, 2007.

The slugger had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in March and said he finally feels like it's back at full strength, helping him drive balls farther.

"I've really felt comfortable all year," he said. "I think getting a little stronger on my back leg, I'm able to stay on my back side a little bit longer and that certainly helps. Other than that, you get to a certain point in the season, at some point, you've got to make a little bit of a run and hopefully, I'm starting that."

Pirates starter Daniel McCutchen (1-4) allowed three of Houston's four homers in five innings of work. McCutchen was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis after the game, the corresponding roster move after the Pirates acquired right-handed reliever Sean Gallagher.

"The few times I needed to execute a pitch, I didn't," McCutchen said. "Overall, in the big situations, they scored three runs with two outs and hit the home run. Oh well."

Keppinger extended his hitting streak to nine games with a solo homer in the first.

Berkman drew a two-out walk in the Astros' half of the third, and Lee followed with a homer to left, his 12th. Lee went 19 games and 71 at-bats without a home run before hitting a solo shot in Tuesday's 6-2 victory.

Left-hander Gustavo Chacin replaced Moehler for the fourth and Garrett Jones led off with a double. Pedro Alvarez walked before Ryan Doumit drove in Jones with a single to right to make it 3-1.

Ryan Church tied it with a double to the gap in left center, prompting boos from the sparse crowd at Minute Maid Park. Center fielder Michael Bourn made two sparkling catches to help Chacin escape further damage in the inning.

"It changed the game," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said of Bourn's defense. "We hit the ball really hard, we hit the ball right at them, and he made two great plays. It's unfortunate that we swung the bats pretty well, but we couldn't get anything out of it."

The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth against Daigle, but Church struck out swinging. Daigle's wife, U.S. Olympic softball star Jennie Finch, attended Wednesday's game along with the couple's 4-year-old son, Ace.

"It's always special to get a big-league win," Daigle said. "On top of that, the fact that my wife and son were there, that makes it that much more special."

Berkman put the Astros ahead with a solo homer in the fifth, his 10th of the season. Berkman and Lee homered in the same game for the third time this season.

Pence led off the Astros' sixth with a homer to left off D.J. Carrasco, setting a new season high for Houston. The Astros hit three home runs in a 6-4 win over Washington on June 3.

The Astros loaded the bases in the seventh against Evan Meek, and Bourn scored from third base on a passed ball for a 6-3 lead.

Matt Lindstrom shut out the Pirates in the ninth to earn his 20th save in his 24th chance.

Notes

Astros IF Geoff Blum underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday, and he is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Blum went on the disabled list on Sunday after hurting his elbow on Thursday in San Diego. The Astros say Blum will begin range-of-motion exercises within three days. ... As a practical joke, the Astros parked RHP Bud Norris' car on the warning track in center field and decorated it with shaving cream during batting practice. LHP Tim Byrdak said Norris is trying to sell the 1996 Acura and his teammates were jokingly trying to increase its value. Norris eventually drove the car off the field. "It's not where I left it," Norris said. "I thought it was funny."

 
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

C. Lee
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Pittsburgh

R. Doumit
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF5010002 .294
Jose Tabata, LF4010101 .235
Neil Walker, 2B5010013 .291
Garrett Jones, 1B5130010 .281
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3100213 .203
Ryan Doumit, C3131100 .266
Ryan Church, RF4012025 .193
Ronny Cedeno, SS4010002 .220
Daniel McCutchen, P2000022 .125
   a- Andy LaRoche, PH1000000 .230
    D.J. Carrasco, P0000000 .000
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   b- Delwyn Young, PH1000001 .230
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Totals37311347  
a-flied out for D. McCutchen in the 6th
b-popped out for Meek in the 8th
Batting
2B - Neil Walker (10, Lindstrom), Garrett Jones (18, Chacin), Ryan Doumit (15, Lyon), Ryan Church (10, Chacin), Ronny Cedeno (10, Moehler)
RBI - Ryan Doumit (30), Ryan Church 2 (16)
SB - Jose Tabata (7, 3rd base off Daigle/Quintero)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
PB - Ryan Doumit (6)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Daniel McCutchen (L,1-4) 5444333 8.58
D.J. Carrasco 1111111 3.92
Evan Meek 1110220 0.94
Joel Hanrahan 1100110 3.79
IBB - Berkman by Evan Meek
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel McCutchen 84-51, D.J. Carrasco 13-7, Evan Meek 23-11, Joel Hanrahan 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel McCutchen 5-7, D.J. Carrasco 1-1, Joel Hanrahan 1-1
Batters Faced - Daniel McCutchen 22, D.J. Carrasco 5, Evan Meek 6, Joel Hanrahan 5
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4110110 .262
Jeff Keppinger, 2B5111013 .283
Lance Berkman, 1B2211200 .245
Carlos Lee, LF3112101 .236
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
Hunter Pence, RF2111201 .259
Chris Johnson, 3B4000013 .314
Humberto Quintero, C4010020 .232
Angel Sanchez, SS3010101 .118
Brian Moehler, P1000011 .100
    Gustavo Chacin, P00000001.000
   a- Pedro Feliz, PH1000000 .223
    Casey Daigle, P0000000 .000
   b- Jason Bourgeois, PH1000001 .278
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Jason Michaels, LF1000011 .245
Totals3167577  
a-flied out for Chacin in the 4th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Daigle in the 6th
Batting
HR - Jeff Keppinger (2, D. McCutchen), Lance Berkman (10, D. McCutchen), Carlos Lee (12, D. McCutchen), Hunter Pence (12, Carrasco)
RBI - Jeff Keppinger (30), Lance Berkman (41), Carlos Lee 2 (44), Hunter Pence (39)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (9), Carlos Lee 2 (22)
SB - Michael Bourn (27, 2nd base off Meek/Doumit)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Keppinger-Sanchez-Berkman
E - Humberto Quintero (4, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler 3300130 4.92
Gustavo Chacin 1333110 3.86
Casey Daigle (W,1-1) 2200220 6.23
Tim Byrdak (H,5) 1000000 4.64
Brandon Lyon (H,16) 1100000 3.52
Matt Lindstrom (S,20) 1200010 2.88
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 52-33, Gustavo Chacin 22-14, Casey Daigle 41-25, Tim Byrdak 14-10, Brandon Lyon 14-9, Matt Lindstrom 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 2-3, Casey Daigle 1-3, Tim Byrdak 1-2, Brandon Lyon 1-2, Matt Lindstrom 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 12, Gustavo Chacin 7, Casey Daigle 10, Tim Byrdak 3, Brandon Lyon 4, Matt Lindstrom 5
Game Information
Attendance - 23123
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg