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Houston at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Houston (37-53) «110002100580
Pittsburgh (30-59)000100010260

Astros 5, Pirates 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Houston Astros certainly aren't the only team beating the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. They're just the one doing it with the most regularity.

Jeff Keppinger homered and had three RBIs, Brett Myers allowed two runs while working into the eighth inning and the Astros remained unbeaten in seven games against the National League's worst team this season with a 5-2 win.

Myers (7-6) extended his club record for consecutive starts of at least six innings to begin a season to 19 by allowing two runs on five hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one.

"I'm just trying to do my job; I'm not really trying to go out there and overpower guys or anything like that," Myers said. "I'm just trying to throw strikes and get us into the dugout as quick as possible."

Matt Lindstrom worked a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 26 opportunities.

Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run for Pittsburgh, which has lost seven consecutive overall.

Making his first start in exactly one month, the Pirates' Zach Duke (3-9) pitched five effective innings, allowing two runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts. But he lost for the ninth time in his last 10 decisions.

"I feel good," Duke said. "I felt like the stuff was crisp, the curveball was good, the changeup was good, the fastball was down, so I like where I'm at physically."

In the Astros' first game with former star Jeff Bagwell as their hitting coach, the team scored at least five runs for only the third time in its past 10 contests.

This despite being without cleanup hitter Carlos Lee, who was not in the lineup a day after he missed a voluntary team workout in Pittsburgh to end the All-star break.

Keppinger, 7 for 13 in his past three games, has hit three of his four home runs this season in his past six games. He also had an RBI double in the seventh and drove in Jason Bourgeois with a groundout in the first.

That meant the Pirates had allowed at least one first-inning run for the sixth time in their past seven games. This came without a ball reaching the outfield - an infield single, two stolen bases and a groundout.

"Those are the things we've got to do, get the big hits with two outs, and we've got to be able to move runners around," Keppinger said.

Houston took a 2-0 lead with two outs in the second when Humberto Quintero doubled in Hunter Pence.

McCutchen scored on Neil Walker's sacrifice fly in the fourth.

D.J. Carrasco relieved Duke in the sixth, and Keppinger took the first pitch he threw and hit it just inside the left-field foul pole to make it 3-1. Later that inning, Pence scored on a squeeze play with Angel Sanchez at the plate.

The Pirates chased Myers in the eighth when McCutchen's two-out single drove in Lastings Milledge. Jose Tabata followed with a single off of Brandon Lyon, but Walker's sinking liner to left was caught by a running Bourgeois to end the threat.

"All wins feel good, but it was nice to see the guys play real well," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "They really did a good job defensively, and offensively we did some things that are good. ... Then, of course, it's always good to lean back on Myers having such a big outing."

The Pirates threw two wild pitches, had a balk, a runner picked off second and failed to record an out when they had Pence caught in a rundown in the fourth.

"Not the kind of game you're looking for anytime," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "A few too many mistakes, mental lapses. But again, we've got to take some heat off those mistakes by scoring some runs, and we just didn't do it. Myers was good."

Notes

After the game, the Astros placed RHP Brian Moehler on the disabled list due to a strained right groin. It was retroactive to July 8. The move was necessitated because RHP Felipe Paulino (right shoulder tendinitis) will be sent back to Houston to have an MRI performed after a setback during a throwing session Friday. He will not come off the disabled list in time to start Tuesday, as scheduled. ... The Pirates have had five losing streaks of at least five games this season. This is the third time they have lost seven in a row.

 
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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Brett Myers has pitched at least six innings in 19 consecutive starts for the Astros. (AP)
Brett Myers has pitched at least six innings in 19 consecutive starts for the Astros. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

J. Keppinger
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

A. McCutchen
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Bourgeois, LF4210121 .304
Michael Bourn, CF4000022 .252
Jeff Keppinger, 2B4123000 .287
Lance Berkman, 1B4000011 .251
Hunter Pence, RF3220110 .267
Chris Johnson, 3B4010031 .280
Angel Sanchez, SS3001012 .179
Humberto Quintero, C4021001 .239
Brett Myers, P2000001 .111
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
   a- Pedro Feliz, PH1000010 .219
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
Totals33585211  
a-struck out for Lyon in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jeff Keppinger (24, Gallagher), Humberto Quintero (8, Duke)
HR - Jeff Keppinger (4, Carrasco)
SH - Angel Sanchez (2), Brett Myers (6)
RBI - Jeff Keppinger 3 (34), Angel Sanchez (1), Humberto Quintero (11)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Keppinger (23), Humberto Quintero (4)
SB - Jason Bourgeois 2 (5, 2nd base off Duke/Doumit, 3rd base off Duke/Doumit)
Team LOB - 5
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Myers (W,7-6) 7.2522140 3.35
Brandon Lyon (H,17) 0.1100000 3.63
Matt Lindstrom (S,22) 1000000 2.72
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 93-61, Brandon Lyon 7-5, Matt Lindstrom 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 11-7, Matt Lindstrom 2-1
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 28, Brandon Lyon 2, Matt Lindstrom 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF4121001 .290
Jose Tabata, LF4020001 .250
Neil Walker, 2B3001012 .269
Garrett Jones, 1B4000000 .269
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4010010 .216
Ryan Doumit, C4000011 .257
Lastings Milledge, RF3110000 .277
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000001 .226
Zach Duke, P1000010 .087
    D.J. Carrasco, P0000000 .000
   a- Andy LaRoche, PH0000100 .229
    Sean Gallagher, P0000000 .000
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Church, PH1000001 .185
    Brendan Donnelly, P0000000 .000
Totals3126214  
a-walked for Carrasco in the 6th
b-grounded out for Meek in the 8th
Batting
2B - Andrew McCutchen (17, Myers), Lastings Milledge (17, Myers)
SF - Neil Walker (3)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (30), Neil Walker (13)
2-OUT RBI - Andrew McCutchen (9)
PK - Andy LaRoche (1, Myers)
Team LOB - 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Zach Duke (L,3-9) 5522050 5.38
D.J. Carrasco 1222111 4.05
Sean Gallagher 0.2111100 5.47
Javier Lopez 0.1000000 2.76
Evan Meek 1000030 1.09
Brendan Donnelly 1000020 5.14
WP - Zach Duke (1), D.J. Carrasco (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 78-53, D.J. Carrasco 26-15, Sean Gallagher 17-11, Javier Lopez 1-1, Evan Meek 14-9, Brendan Donnelly 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 6-4, D.J. Carrasco 1-1, Sean Gallagher 1-1, Javier Lopez 1-0, Brendan Donnelly 1-0
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 20, D.J. Carrasco 6, Sean Gallagher 4, Javier Lopez 1, Evan Meek 3, Brendan Donnelly 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23273
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - John Hirschbeck