PITTSBURGH - JULY 06: Charlie Morton #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Houston Astros during the game on July 6, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Pirates Vs. Astros: Houston Scores Five Runs In Sixth, Avoids Sweep

Charlie Morton's fine start came to a halt in the sixth as the Pirates lost, falling to 45-42.

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Astros Vs. Pirates: Houston Gets To Charlie Morton In Sixth, Wins 8-2

The Houston Astros scored five runs in the sixth inning en route to an 8-2 victory over the Pirates, avoiding a sweep.

Charlie Morton was doing fine until the sixth, when six of the first seven batters reached base. Five of those runners scored, and by the time Morton had been replaced by Chris Leroux, the damage had already been done.

The Astros also scored three runs in the ninth off relievers Dan McCutchen and Danny Moskos.

Bud Norris pitched seven strong innings for the win, as the Pirates managed only seven hits, all singles. Michael McKenry went 2-for-3.

The Pirates are now 45-42. The first-place Cardinals lost to the Reds Wednesday night, but the Milwaukee Brewers won, so the Pirates are still 1.5 games back of the N.L. Central lead, but they’re in third place, a half-game behind the Brewers.

The Bucs kick off a home series against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

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Pirates Vs. Astros: Buccos Trail 5-2 In 6th

The Pittsburgh Pirates are trying to win their fourth consecutive game tonight as they take on the reeling Houston Astros at PNC Park. The Pirates grabbed sole possession of second place in the NL Central Tuesday night, and heading into Wednesday night's action, trailed first place St. Louis by just 1.5 games. If they're going to keep the streak alive, they'll have to win in come from behind fashion, as they trail the Astros 5-2 in the bottom of the 6th inning.

Charlie Morton (7-4) was cruising right along until the 6th inning when Houston plated all five of its runs. Two Pirates errors allowed one unearned run to score. Morton was replaced by Leroux after getting just one out in the 6th.

Stay tuned for more updates and a recap as the evening progresses.

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