Game 89: Bucs Offense Continues to Sputter

The Pirates dropped the first game after the All-Star break and seventh straight overall. Brett Myers was sharp and Jeff Keppinger drove in three for Houston.

Houston scored once in the first without a ball leaving the infield thanks to an infield hit and the Pirates ability to hold down the running game. Leadoff hitter Jason Bourgeois reached on an infield hit against Zach Duke. He stole second and third and scored when Keppinger grounded out.

Humberto Quintero’s two out double in the second scored Hunter Pence to make it 2-0. Meanwhile Brett Myers was perfect through three innings. But the Pirates got to him in the fourth. Neil Walker lofted a sac fly that scored Andrew McCutchen who had doubled and moved up on a grounder.

Duke was pulled after five in favor of D.J. Carrasco. Keppinger was the first batter he faced and he hit a homer to push the lead to 3-1. Carrasco’s troubles weren’t over. Pence walked and wound up on third with one out thanks to a single and a wild pitch. Angel Sanchez laid down a sacrifice that scored Pence to push it to 4-1.

Bourgeois and Keppinger were at it again in the 7th. Sean Gallagher was pitching and he walked Bourgeois. Gallagher balked and with two outs, Keppinger doubled to score him.

Myers was chased with two outs in the 8th when McCutchen singled home Lastings Milledge. The Pirates could do no more damage and Matt Lindstrom recorded a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.

Duke allowed two runs on five hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out five. Myers gave up five hits and both Pirate runs in 7-2/3.

The Good
McCutchen had two hits and was involved in both of the Pirates scoring plays.

Jose Tabata singled twice.

Evan Meek struck out the side in the 9th.

Pirate pitchers combined to whiff 11 Astros.

The Bad
Losing seven straight.

Only getting six hits.

The Rest
Bucs put only seven men on base. One of them (Andy LaRoche) was picked off. They gave up two stolen bases, had two wild pitches and committed a balk.

Duke is 2-4 in his career against Houston despite a 3.25 career ERA. Myers has beat Pittsburgh twice in 2010 to even his career mark at 4-4.

Duke has dropped his last five starts and has one win in his last 10 decisions.

Houston played without Carlos Lee who was suspended for missing a team workout on Thursday.

This was the fifth time in 2010 that Pittsburgh hurlers totaled 10 Ks in a game.

Of all the teams against whom he had 60 ABs, Keppinger came into the game with the lowest career BA against Pittburgh.

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