The Pirates were six outs from being 16-16. They were six outs from nailing down a win for Paul Maholm. Chris Resop had a rare poor outing and took the loss.
Houston got on the board first. Jason Bourgeois singled leading off the game. He stole second and then moved to third on a single from Michael Bourn. Hunter Pence lofted a sac fly to bring Bourgeois home. But Maholm settled in after that. He retired ten straight Houston hitters before putting two on in the sixth. He got out of that jam with a double play grounder from Clint Barmes.
Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez was equally strong. He had faced the minimum through four innings with some help from two double plays. Pittsburgh evened it at one in the fifth when Lyle Overbay and Brandon Wood hit consecutive two out doubles.
Neil Walker homered leading off the fourth inning to give the Pirates a precarious 2-1 lead. It didn’t hold up. Resop relieved Maholm to start the eighth. Bourn walked and stole second. He scored the tying run on a Pence double. Jose Veras entered for Resop. Carlos Lee singled hom Pence and the Houston bullpen made it stand up.
Pittsburgh stranded Xavier Paul at third in the eighth, but went down in order in the ninth.
Maholm deserved better. He allowed one run in seven innings. He gave up five hits (all singles) and walked three. The late runs made a winner out of Rodriguez. He gave up two runs in seven innings. He gave up five hits and two walks. Mark Melancon recorded the save, his first ever.
Maholm was sharp.
Blowing a late lead.
Blowing a chance to be at .500
I don’t think this team has one player that can carry a huge offensive load and no one is especially hot. They finished with only five hits.
Resop had only give up one run in his last eleven appearances, covering 13-2/3 innings.
Rodriguez is 7-4 against the Pirates lifetime. Pittsburgh came into the game only hitting .210 against Rodriguez. In a combined 105 at bats, no current Pirates have a homer off of him.
Maholm remains 10-6 against Houston lifetime. He has more career wins against the Astros than against any other team.
Woods’ two hit night was his first multi-hit game as a Pirate.
Anyone else annoyed with Baseball-Reference.com’s ‘Fan EloRater’. Seems very forced.