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Pittsburgh at Houston

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Pittsburgh (62-72)000300001450
Houston (45-90) «00011041x7130

Astros 7, Pirates 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The Astros lineup is filled with youngsters. On Monday night, a pair of veterans led the way.

Carlos Lee hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning, Wandy Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 and the Houston Astros rallied past the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-4.

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Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, a fielder's choice grounder by J.D. Martinez tied the score and Lee extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his 14th home run off Jose Veras, putting the Astros ahead for the first time.

"I thought it was going to curve foul," Lee said. "I guess when you are going good, good things happen. I'm seeing the ball really good. I feel I can cover every pitch and be on top of things."

Rodriguez stumbled briefly in the fourth inning, allowing Pittsburgh to grab the lead.

Rodriguez struck out six of the first nine batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until Josh Harrison led off the fourth with a double and Andrew McCutchen followed with his 19th home run.

"In the fourth inning, my problem was I stayed behind in the count," Rodriguez said. "I tried to throw a fastball for a strike and I put a few behind. Early in the game I tried to locate the fastball. Later it was the breaking ball."

Neil Walker doubled and Ryan Doumit drove in the third run with a double. Rodriguez then walked Matt Diaz before finding his control again and striking out the next three.

Rodriguez (10-9) struck out the side twice, including the fourth. He went seven innings, walked four and allowed four hits. It was the 10th double-digit strikeout game of Rodriguez's career. Rodriguez had fanned 11 batters previously on three occasions.

"He was getting strikesouts because he had good stuff," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "It was just trying to get him consistent. He really was fighting himself finding his rhythm. The last couple of innings he found it and really started throwing the ball well."

Jason Grilli (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs and walked one. Juan Abreu struck out the first two batters of his major league debut for the Astros but then walked a batter and gave up an RBI triple to Ronny Cedeno in the ninth.

Mark Melancon got the final out for his 15th save in 20 chances.

An infield hit by Jose Altuve gave Houston its seventh run in the eighth.

Ross Ohlendorf, trying to rebound from four months on the disabled list, didn't allow a hit until Martinez singled to left field with two outs in the fourth inning.

"I thought I saw some incremental improvement," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said about Ohlendorf. "There were more strikes thrown. There were more attempts working the ball in. I think the slider improved. He has to get the ball down with more consistency.

"I did see more comfort and better mound presence," Hurdle added. "He wasn't so antsy or amped up. I thought his tempo was better as well."

After Lee walked in the fourth, Brian Bogusevic doubled to the left-field corner scoring Martinez. Jimmy Paredes then struck out to end the inning and keep the Pirates ahead 3-1.

Clint Barmes doubled to open the fifth and scored after two outs on a single by Jordan Schafer.

Ohlendorf pitched five innings, allowed five hits two earned runs and he struck out six and walked one.

"I felt much better than the last game," Ohlendorf said. "It was the best I've felt in a while. I felt like my command was better. My slider felt really good. I think the most important thing was my fastball command was better than before. Some of it was a subconscious effort not to overthrow and let my arm work freely."

Rodriguez was much stronger than his last start against Colorado on Aug. 24 amid talk that he was being traded to the Rockies. He allowed 10 hits, four earned runs over six innings with four walks and two strikeouts.

Rodriguez's strikeout total was the most by an Astros pitcher since Bud Norris fanned 14 Pirates on Aug. 14, 2010.

Notes

Pirates RHP Jeff Karstens pitched Sunday and won't get a chance to be the first pitcher this season to beat the Astros four times. ... Houston's bullpen has allowed two earned runs over the past 12 1/3 innings. ... RHP David Carpenter has not allowed a run in 20 of his 24 major-league appearances. Carpenter pitched a perfect eighth. He got his first big-league save on Sunday. ... The Astros have won five of their past six home games.

 
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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Players of the Game
Houston

W. Rodriguez
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 4
K 13
Pittsburgh

A. McCutchen
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, LF-RF4000111 .273
Josh Harrison, 3B4110011 .286
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
    Tony Watson, P0000000 .000
Andrew McCutchen, CF3112111 .274
Neil Walker, 2B4110002 .276
Ryan Doumit, C4011010 .268
Matt Diaz, RF1000210 .259
    Alex Presley, LF1000010 .300
Brandon Wood, 1B-3B4000043 .212
Chase D'Arnaud, SS3000033 .207
    Jason Grilli, P0000000 .000
    Garrett Jones, 1B0100100 .249
Ross Ohlendorf, P2000022 .200
    Ronny Cedeno, SS2011010 .258
Totals32454516  
Batting
2B - Josh Harrison (9, Rodriguez), Neil Walker (23, Rodriguez), Ryan Doumit (5, Rodriguez)
3B - Ronny Cedeno (2, Abreu)
HR - Andrew McCutchen (19, Rodriguez)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen 2 (80), Ryan Doumit (23), Ronny Cedeno (31)
2-OUT RBI - Ronny Cedeno (13)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Grilli-Cedeno-Wood, Cedeno-G. Jones-Walker
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ross Ohlendorf 5522160 6.27
Jason Grilli (H,4; L,1-1) 1.1322100 3.63
Jose Veras (BS,7) 0.2222011 3.45
Tony Watson 1311010 4.75
HBP - Schafer (by Jason Grilli)
WP - Ross Ohlendorf (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Ross Ohlendorf 72-50, Jason Grilli 36-19, Jose Veras 18-14, Tony Watson 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ross Ohlendorf 6-3, Jason Grilli 2-1, Jose Veras 1-1, Tony Watson 1-0
Batters Faced - Ross Ohlendorf 21, Jason Grilli 8, Jose Veras 5, Tony Watson 5
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4121020 .249
Jose Altuve, 2B5131000 .310
J.D. Martinez, LF4211002 .280
    David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Downs, PH1000002 .276
    Juan Abreu, P0000000 .000
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
Carlos Lee, 1B3123100 .273
Brian Bogusevic, RF4021001 .299
Jimmy Paredes, 3B3000123 .287
Clint Barmes, SS4120011 .246
Carlos Corporan, C4000033 .189
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000001 .151
   b- Jason Bourgeois, PH-LF2110000 .284
Totals36713728  
a-grounded out for Carpenter in the 8th
b-grounded out for Rodriguez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Altuve (9, Grilli), Brian Bogusevic 2 (9, Ohlendorf, Veras), Clint Barmes (21, Ohlendorf)
HR - Carlos Lee (13, Veras)
RBI - Jordan Schafer (11), Jose Altuve (9), J.D. Martinez (26), Carlos Lee 3 (74), Brian Bogusevic (14)
2-OUT RBI - Jordan Schafer (7), Brian Bogusevic (6)
SB - Jason Bourgeois (24, 2nd base off Watson/Doumit)
Team LOB - 8
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wandy Rodriguez (W,10-9) 74334131 3.43
David Carpenter (H,3) 1000000 2.65
Juan Abreu 0.2111120 13.50
Mark Melancon (S,15) 0.1000010 3.29
WP - Wandy Rodriguez (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 113-72, David Carpenter 11-7, Juan Abreu 25-16, Mark Melancon 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-5
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 29, David Carpenter 3, Juan Abreu 4, Mark Melancon 1
Game Information
Attendance - 19250
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Chris Guccione