The Pirates improved their record to 34-33 with a win over the Houston Astros Wednesday night, giving them a winning record overall in the middle of June.
This win didn't follow the Pirates' usual script of good pitching, good defense and poor offense. In fact, it was an extremely long game filled with tons of baserunners.
Charlie Morton allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings. He also allowed two walks. Nearly every inning seemed to take forever. Astros starter J.A. Happ, meanwhile, struck out seven batters while allowing two runs in five innings.
The Pirates drew first blood, with an RBI triple by Neil Walker off the glove of Hunter Pence in the first inning, and an RBI single in the third. The Astros, however, scored in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take the lead.
After that, Daniel McCutchen entered the game and pitched three strong innings of relief, and the Pirates seized the opportunity to get back in the game.
They scored three runs in an eventful sixth inning against reliever Enerio Del Rosario that began with a one-out double by Xavier Paul. Jose Tabata then singled, and Garrett Jones singled home Paul. Tabata then scored on Andrew McCutchen's groundout when Astros first baseman Brett Wallace made a poor throw home, and Neil Walker lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Jones.
In the seventh inning, Paul hit a Minute-Maid special, a fly ball to left field that would have been an easy out in most ballparks, but that flew over Minute Maid Park's short porch for a two-run homer. That put the Pirates up 7-3. Chris Resop got into trouble in the ninth inning, but Joel Hanrahan came on to pick up the save.