Brad Lincoln had one rough inning, the second. Carlos Lee led off with a soft single and stole second; the Pirates are giving up stolen bases like they're bobbleheads lately. Brian Bogusevic rolled one into right to put runners on the corners. Lee scored on a weak grounder to second. The Bucs couldn't turn the DP, and it would haunt them when Humberto Quintero doubled with two away (and the pitcher on deck).
The Bucs scored in their half on a Dewey homer, his eighth. Unfortunately Neil Walker, who had singled ahead of him, was caught stealing before the blast.
And it stayed that way through six with neither team getting a runner past second. Bad Brad departed after the sixth frame, giving up two runs on five hits with six K's on 97 pitches.
Chris Resop was in a bit of hot water in the seventh, but helped save his own bacon. The first two guys singled, and the Pirates again couldn't turn a DP on a grounder to second. The pitcher, Brett Myers, laid down a bunt on a suicide squeeze, and Resop got to the ball, went home, and Dewey blocked the plate and dropped the tag in one smooth motion to save the run.
The Bucs couldn't solve Myers, who came into the game on a seven game losing streak and 6+ ERA. He eventually put himself in the shower in the eighth when he threw away a two out grounder by Josh Harrison, who busted it up the line and ended up on second. After a walk, Garrett Jones flew out to short right to end the frame. Myers left with a four-hitter through 7-2/3 innings.
The Astros iced it in the ninth. Jose Veras walked Bogusevic after a hard fought nine pitch at-bat, followed by a Jimmy Paredes shot to left center that McCutch overran by a half step. It was ruled a double, and would prove big when both runners scored an out later on a Quintero single, giving him 3 RBI on the night. Danny Moskos finished off the frame without any further damage.
Mark Melanchon was dinged for a Lee single in the ninth, but otherwise had no problem collecting his 17th save.
Not much to this game. The Pirates cranked out just five hits, and couldn't make enough plays in the field to support the pitching.
JA Happ and Brian Burres get the nod tomorrow.
- A couple of questions: Has Jose Veras worked his way out of Pittsburgh's 2012 plans? Has Dewey worked his way back into them? Has Paul Maholm pitched his last game as a Bucco? And whassup with McCutch, who is now hitting just .267?
- Ends up that JT's sore wrist was caused by a small fracture. He'll get ten days of treatment and rest before being reevaluated. Guess it's a good thing Ryan Ludwick is coming back tomorrow.