• My Scores
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • NBA

Pittsburgh at Houston

W: J. Happ (3-1) L: J. Karstens (2-9)
HR: PIT - None   HOU - C. Johnson (6)

Astros 8, Pirates 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- J.A. Happ gave the Houston Astros a chance, and eventually they took advantage of it.

Happ threw six solid innings and pinch-hitter Pedro Feliz hit a two-run double in Houston's four-run sixth inning, leading the Astros to an 8-2 victory over the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

"It's fun to watch these guys play late in the game," Happ said. "That's the way baseball is sometimes. Guys see you are battling and the second, third, and fourth time through they stuck with it and got on the board today."

Hunter Pence and Chris Johnson had three hits apiece for Houston, which trailed 2-1 after five innings. Johnson hit a solo homer in the eighth and Jeff Keppinger finished with two RBI.

Happ (3-1) allowed two runs and three hits to improve to 2-1 in four starts since he was acquired from Philadelphia in the Roy Oswalt trade.

Pence started the winning rally with a leadoff double against Jeff Karstens (2-9). Pence moved to third on Carlos Lee's fly ball and scored on Keppinger's tying sacrifice fly.

After Brett Wallace was hit by a pitch, Johnson reached on an infield hit and Jason Castro hit a tiebreaking RBI single before Feliz's double to center off Sean Gallagher made it 5-2.

"When your pitchers go out and battle like that it gives you a chance to win," Pence said. "All up and down the lineup, everyone hit and we made some amazing plays."

Pittsburgh has lost 10 consecutive road games and seven in a row overall. The Pirates dropped all nine of their games at Minute Maid Park this season.

"When you get three hits in a game, you're not doing well," manager John Russell said. "We have to swing the bats well. We are showing signs that we can. We are swinging them a little better, but when you are only getting two, three, four, five runs a game, it's tough to win."

Karstens was charged with five runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He has dropped his last seven decisions.

Plate umpire Alan Porter had to leave in the sixth inning after he was struck on the head on Lee's swing. Porter walked off the field and required five stitches to close a laceration.

Second base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt moved behind the plate to finish the game.

The delay for Porter's injury had an effect on Karstens.

"Once that happened, I slowed down," Karstens said. "I threw a pitch and one fly ball, then another fly ball. The other guys had singles. Things kind of tumbled, and they had to pull me out of the game."

Pittsburgh pushed across two runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Neil Walker's sacrifice put runners on second and third for Lastings Milledge, who singled to center for the Pirates' first run. Chris Snyder followed with a sacrifice fly.

Happ's wildness almost cost him in the sixth. He walked Pedro Alvarez and Walker with one out. Milledge then hit a roller to second baseman Keppinger, forcing Walker at second.

Shortstop Angel Sanchez's throw to first was high and Milledge was safe, but first baseman Wallace cut down Alvarez trying to score, ending the inning.


The Astros are 34-31 since their 17-34 start.

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.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game

H. Pence
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 0

J. Happ
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 2
BB 4
K 5

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen, CF3000012 .279
Garrett Jones, 1B4000003 .256
Jose Tabata, LF4110010 .292
Pedro Alvarez, 3B1100310 .245
Neil Walker, 2B2010100 .303
Lastings Milledge, RF4011004 .272
Chris Snyder, C3011022 .223
Argenis Diaz, SS2000121 .308
   a- Delwyn Young, PH1000002 .247
Jeff Karstens, P2000012 .067
    Sean Gallagher, P0000000 .000
   b- Andy LaRoche, PH1000000 .220
    Daniel McCutchen, P0000000 .091
    Wil Ledezma, P0000000 .000
    Chan Ho Park, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Diaz in the 9th
b-grounded out for Gallagher in the 7th
SF - Chris Snyder (2)
SH - Neil Walker (1)
RBI - Lastings Milledge (33), Chris Snyder (39)
Team LOB - 6
E - Pedro Alvarez (8, Misplayed grounder)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeff Karstens (L,2-9) 5.2755050 4.57
Sean Gallagher 0.1100010 5.45
Daniel McCutchen 0.2222000 6.97
Wil Ledezma 0.1000000 11.05
Chan Ho Park 1111101 6.18
HBP - Wallace (by Jeff Karstens)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 87-63, Sean Gallagher 9-7, Daniel McCutchen 9-6, Wil Ledezma 7-5, Chan Ho Park 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 5-8, Wil Ledezma 1-0, Chan Ho Park 3-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 26, Sean Gallagher 2, Daniel McCutchen 4, Wil Ledezma 1, Chan Ho Park 5
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4000131 .248
Angel Sanchez, SS5110001 .279
Hunter Pence, RF4331000 .285
Carlos Lee, LF4011003 .247
Jeff Keppinger, 2B2002001 .286
Brett Wallace, 1B3100010 .270
Chris Johnson, 3B4231000 .360
Jason Castro, C4121010 .198
J.A. Happ, P2000012 .000
   a- Pedro Feliz, PH1012000 .223
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P1000000 .000
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Happ in the 6th
2B - Angel Sanchez (7, D. McCutchen), Hunter Pence 2 (24, Karstens, D. McCutchen), Pedro Feliz (12, Gallagher)
HR - Chris Johnson (6, Park)
SF - Jeff Keppinger 2 (3)
RBI - Hunter Pence (62), Carlos Lee (62), Jeff Keppinger 2 (46), Chris Johnson (34), Jason Castro (6), Pedro Feliz 2 (31)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (27), Jason Castro (2), Pedro Feliz 2 (9)
SB - Hunter Pence (15, 2nd base off Karstens/Snyder)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Keppinger-Sanchez-Wallace-Castro, Keppinger-Sanchez-Wallace
Houston Astros
J.A. Happ (W,3-1) 6322450 3.38
Mark Melancon (H,1) 1000020 7.20
Tim Byrdak 1100100 3.99
Jeff Fulchino 1000010 6.15
HBP - A. McCutchen (by Mark Melancon)
WP - J.A. Happ (2)
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 100-55, Mark Melancon 12-9, Tim Byrdak 11-5, Jeff Fulchino 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 4-8, Mark Melancon 1-0, Tim Byrdak 1-1, Jeff Fulchino 1-1
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 24, Mark Melancon 4, Tim Byrdak 4, Jeff Fulchino 3
Game Information
Attendance - 34372
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - , Third Base - David Rackley