PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 5: Alex Presley #7 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI triple in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros during the game on September 5, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Astros vs. Pirates: Bucs Win 6-3 In Finale, Take 2 Of 3

The Pirates won the last two games of their series against the Astros, moving to within a game and a half of a playoff spot.

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Pirates Vs. Cubs: Pittsburgh Breaks Up No-Hitter In Fifth Inning

Pittsburgh is continuing their chase for a wild card spot, but in the beginning of a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs, they're off to a rocky start.

The Pirates are heading into the sixth inning of their contest against the Cubs and a Pedro Alvarez double just broke up a no-hitter. They trail 4-0 in the game and also haven't looked real strong in the field, either, with three errors already to their credit. Rookie Starling Marte has two of those on a bobble and a throw. Brock Holt, another rookie for the club, has the other.

Chicago starter Travis Wood is the one keeping the Pirates off balance. into the fifth inning, he's given up only the one hit and has five strikeouts with only a single walk. Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett has looked strong so far, giving up two runs through five innings.

Clearly, the Bucs have a lot of work to do offensively to get back into the game.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For the Cubs, there's Bleed Cubbie Blue.

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N.L. Wild Card Standings: Pirates 1.5 Games Back With Struggling Cubs Up Next

The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves 1.5 games back in the race for the final NL Wild Card slot, but can take advantage of another easy series this weekend against the Cubs.

The Bucs gained a game on Wednesday night, earning a series victory against the hapless Astros while St. Louis and Los Angeles both lost, pulling the Pirates into a tie with the Dodgers and bringing them a game closer to the Cardinals. All three teams are in action this weekend, but Pittsburgh has the easiest matchup: after taking on the last-place Astros, they now move on to the second-to-last-place Cubs, who were just swept by Washington. Meanwhile, St. Louis has a respectable Milwaukee squad on the docket, while Los Angeles has to take on the NL West leaders in San Francisco. If all goes well, Pittsburgh could pull into the Wild Card lead this weekend, although they'd be very happy to cut the deficit to half a game while gaining a game on the Dodgers.

Here's a look at the full Wild Card standings:


National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 78 60 .565 0 Won 2
St. Louis 74 63 .540 3.5 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 72 64 .529 5 Won 2
Los Angeles 73 65 .528 5 Lost 2
Arizona 68 70 .492 10 Won 2
Milwaukee 67 70 .489 10.5 Lost 1
Philadelphia 66 71 .481 11.5 Won 1
New York 65 72 .474 12.5 Won 1
San Diego 64 74 .463 14 Won 2
Miami 61 77 .442 17 Won 1
Colorado 56 80 .411 21 Lost 2
Chicago 51 86 .372 26.5 Lost 6
Houston 42 95 .306 35.5 Lost 2

(updated 9.7.2012 at 10:21 AM CDT)


For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout and continue to check out SB Nation Pittsburgh for more on the Wild Card race.

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Pirates-Astros Final Score: Pittsburgh Takes The Series, Wins 6-3

The Pittsburgh Pirates did what they needed to do on Wednesday night, beating the hapless Houston Astros 6-3 at PNC Park to take the three-game series and stay in the hunt for a National League Wild Card spot.

Kevin Correia came up huge for the Bucs, throwing six solid innings to move to 10-8 on the season. The right-hander gave up just one run on four hits, walking one and striking out one.

On offense, Gaby Sanchez went 3-for-4 with an RBI. The Pirates only had one extra-base hit on Wednesday night, an Alex Presley triple in the fourth inning. Brock Holt picked up a pair of RBI in the leadoff spot on an infield single and a sacrifice fly.

Fernando Abad made his third start of the season for Houston and it didn't go smoothly. Abad was roughed up in four innings, surrendering five runs (four earned) on six hits to fall to 0-3.

Brandon Laird drove in two of the Astros' three runs with a two-run homer in the ninth off of Jason Grilli, but Grilli struck out Carlos Corporan in the next at-bat to seal the win.

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

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Astros Vs. Pirates Lineups: Jose Tabata Out With Foot Issue

The starting lineups for the Pittsburgh Pirates 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Houston Astros have been released. Jose Tabata was initially in the lineup, but has been scratched due to a "foot contusion." Gaby Sanchez and Rod Bajaras are back in the lineups after taking Tuesday off.

Full lineups are below:

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Brock Holt - 2B
2. Clint Barmes - SS
3. Andrew McCutchen - CF
4. Garrett Jones - RF
5. Gaby Sanchez - 1B
6. Pedro Alvarez - 3B
7. Clint Barmes - SS
8. Alex Presley - LF
9. Kevin Correia - SP

Houston Astros

1. Jose Altuve - 2B
2. Jimmy Paredes - LF
3. Brett Wallace - 1B
4. Fernando Martinez - RF
5. Brian Bogusevic - CF
6. Scott Moore - 3B
7. Carlos Corporan - C
8. Tyler Greene - SS
9. Fernando Abad - SP

For more on the Pittsburgh Pirates; check Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for the latest news and updates.

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Astros Vs. Pirates Preview: Game Schedule, TV Info And More

The Pittsburgh Pirates head into Wednesday with a chance to win another series against the Houston Astros at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh has been scuffling down the stretch as it tries to chase down a wild-card spot. After being one of the two wild-card teams in the National League for most of July and August, the Pirates have been losing at an alarming rate and now face an uphill climb to catch the St. Louis Cardinals.

Kevin Correia takes the mound Wednesday in hopes of starting that ascent. The 32-year-old has been average this year with a 9-8 record and 4.40 ERA. Correia was solid the last time he made an appearance on Aug 31, pitching four shutout innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Fernando Abad will get the start for Houston, just his third of the season. Abad has been primarily used as a reliever but has been called upon recently to give starting a chance.

In his two starts, Abad has seen mixed results. He started out by pitching a nice game against the New York Mets, before getting shelled by the St. Louis Cardinals. Against the Redbirds, Abad allowed six runs in 4.1 innings.

TV: ROOT Sports

Time: 7:05 p.m. ET

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

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Astros Vs. Pirates Recap: Andrew McCutchen, Wandy Rodriguez Lead Bucs To 5-2 Win

The Pittsburgh Pirates rebounded from an ugly Labor Day loss to the Astros with a 5-2 win over Houston on Tuesday. Wandy Rodriguez stepped up for the Bucs and ended a four-game skid with seven shutout innings. Rodriguez shut down the weak Astros lineup, striking out seven and allowing just four hits

Houston starter Jordan Lyles, on the other hand, was hit early by the Pittsburgh lineup. Andrew McCutchen drove in runs in his first three at-bats, ripping a double in the first to score Travis Snider and singling home Brock Holt in the third. He then hustled out an infield single to score Holt once again. The Bucs' All-Star finished the night four-for-four with a run scored in addition to the three RBI.

The Astros would finally get on the board in the eighth with Wandy out of the game. Reliever Chris Resop yielded two runs but NL saves leader Joel Hanrahan would ensure that the 5-2 lead held up.

The Bucs will now try to take the series against the lowly Astros on Wednesday. Kevin Correia will get the start for Clint Hurdle with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

For more on the Pirates, be sure to check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Astros check out Crawfish Boxes. For more information on Major League Baseball, check out Baseball Nation.

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Astros Vs. Pirates In Weather Delay

The start of the Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Houston Astros has been delayed due to rain in the Pittsburgh area.

With a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the forecast from 10 p.m. to midnight it is possible this game might not get played at all on Tuesday depending on how the weather plays out. It is more likely that a series of delays could make for a late night before a final decision is reached. It is unknown if the delay will change the plans of starting Jordan Lyles for the Pirates or Wandy Rodriguez for the Astros.

For the current weather conditions in Pittsburgh click here.

For more on the Pirates, be sure to check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Astros check out Crawfish Boxes. For more information on Major League Baseball, check out Baseball Nation.

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Astros Vs. Pirates Lineups: Michael McKenry, Alex Presley Start Against Jordan Lyles

Here are the lineups for Tuesday night's 7:05 p.m. contest between the Astros and Pirates.

Astros:

Jose Altuve 2B
Tyler Greene SS
Brett Wallace 1B
Justin Maxwell CF
Jason Castro C
Matt Downs RF
Jimmy Paredes LF
Brandon Laird 3B
Jordan Lyles P

Pirates:

Brock Holt 2B
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Michael McKenry C
Alex Presley LF
Clint Barmes SS
Wandy Rodriguez P

The Pirates have faded recently, and they suffered an exasperating 5-1 loss against the last-place Astros on Monday, but they're still just 2.5 games back in the N.L. Wild Card race, and they can really use a win from Wandy Rodriguez against his former team. They'll have to get through Jordan Lyles, a promising 21-year-old starter who's struggling through his first full season.

For the Pirates, Alex Presley mans left field, while Michael McKenry starts at catcher over the execrable Rod Barajas.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Astros, there's Crawfish Boxes.

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Pedro Alvarez Named National League Player Of The Week

The Pittsburgh Pirates might be skidding, but Pedro Alvarez isn't to blame. The Bucs' third baseman earned National League Player of the Week honors for the period ending Sept. 2, 2012.

In six games, Alvarez had four home runs -- tied for the Major League lead over the week -- and hit .458 in 24 at-bats. His week was highlighted by a 4-for-5, two-homer, four-RBI performance against the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 28. One of those homers traveled 469 feet, the longest home run hit in PNC Park to date. Unfortunately, the team didn't follow suit, going 2-4 over the week and suffering a sweep at the hands of the Brewers.

Alvarez has responded well to becoming the Pirates' everyday third baseman, bouncing back from a sophomore campaign in which he hit just .191. He is hitting .250 on the season while leading the Pirates -- and all NL third basemen -- with 27 home runs.

Perhaps it's a September thing -- Alvarez won the honor previously as a rookie for his performance during the week of Sept. 20 through Sept. 26, 2010.

For more on the Pirates, head over to Bucs Dugout and continue to check out SB Nation Pittsburgh.

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Astros Vs. Pirates Preview: Bucs Try To Snap 4-Game Losing Streak With Wandy Rodriguez

The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to snap their four-game losing streak on Tuesday evening and pull even in their series with the lowly Houston Astros. The Bucs dropped the series opener on Labor Day in a lackluster 5-1 loss, as Houston starter Edgar Gonzalez picked up his first MLB win in four years.

Wandy Rodriguez will be on the hill for the Pirates, facing his former team for the second time in a Bucs uniform. Wandy threw six scoreless innings in his last outing, a Pittsburgh shutout of the Cardinals. The Astros have one of the worst lineups in the game, so it will be crucial for the deadline acquisition to step up on the mound and be the stopper for manager Clint Hurdle.

First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET at PNC Park, and after the holiday matinee, the Bucs will have had plenty of time to think about Monday's disappointment and try to regroup. They're currently 2.5 games back of St. Louis and Atlanta in the Wild Card. Getting these games against the 'Stros and Cubs this week will be huge before a three-game set against the Reds next week.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Astros, there's Crawfish Boxes.

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Astros Vs. Pirates Final Score: Edgar Gonzalez, Brett Wallace Help Last-Place Astros To Easy Win

The Pirates managed just five hits in an awful 5-1 loss to baseball's worst team on Monday as the Bucs' playoff chances continued to fade away.

Journeyman Edgar Gonzalez, making his Astros debut, struck out five in 5.1 innings, giving up his only run in the fifth on a leadoff triple by Pedro Alvarez and a single by Clint Barmes.

By that point, the Pirates were already down 5-0. The Astros scored in the first and third, then got three in the fifth when Jeff Locke allowed a three-run shot to right-center by Brett Wallace.

Besides the hits by Barmes and Alvarez, the Pirates' only hits came from Garrett Jones, who went 3-for-4.

At the time of this writing, the Cardinals were beating the Mets. If the Cardinals were to come out with a victory, the Pirates would fall to 2.5 games back in the Wild Card chase.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Astros, there's Crawfish Boxes.

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Astros Vs. Pirates: Lineups Set For Series Opener

The Pirates will celebrate Labor Day by welcoming the Houston Astros, the team with the worst record in baseball, to PNC Park for a three-game series starting this afternoon. Pittsburgh has dominated Houston this season, winning nine of the teams' 11 games against each other.

Both teams are sending out pitchers recently called up from Triple-A. The Astros will start Edgar Gonzalez while Jeff Locke, who was called up to take Erik Bedard's rotation spot, gets the ball for the Pirates.

First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. ET.

Here are the lineups for this afternoon's game.

Pittsburgh Pirates (70-63)

1. Brock Holt (2B)
2. Travis Snider (LF)
3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
4. Garrett Jones (RF)
5. Gaby Sanchez (1B)
6. Pedro Alvarez (3B)
7. Rod Barajas (C)
8. Clint Barmes (SS)
9. Jeff Locke (P)

Houston Astros (41-93)

1. Jose Altuve (2B)
2. Tyler Greene (SS)
3. Brett Wallace (1B)
4. Justin Maxwell (LF)
5. Matt Downs (RF)
6. Matt Dominguez (3B)
7. Chris Snyder (C)
8. Brandon Barnes (CF)
9. Edgar Gonzalez (P)

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.

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Astros vs. Pirates Preview: Pair Of Unproven Pitchers Square Off In Series Opener

The league's worst team visits Pittsburgh, exactly what the struggling Pirates need as they try and get back in contention for a playoff spot after losing nine of 12 games.

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