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Astros Vs. Pirates: Bucs Win Again, Now Within One Game Of First Place

Alex Presley had three hits, including an RBI triple, as the Pirates beat the Houston Astros 5-3 and moved within one game of the Cardinals and Brewers for first place in the N.L. Central.

The Bucs had 13 hits off Houston's Brett Myers, who pitch six innings and allowed all five runs. They scored in the second inning on an RBI single by Michael McKenry, then had two in the third inning, with an RBI double by Andrew McCutchen and a run-scoring single by Lyle Overbay. Neil Walker knocked in a run in the fifth, and Presley's triple came in the sixth.

Walker, Overbay, Chase D'Arnaud and Garrett Jones all had two hits apiece for the Bucs. Paul Maholm pitched six innings and allowed three runs, one earned for the win, and Joel Hanrahan delivered his 25th save. 

The Bucs are now 44-41, and have their next eight games against the NL Central's two worst teams, the Astros and Cubs. That doesn't mean they'll win the next eight games, obviously, but it's great to see that not only are they in contention, they now have lots of games against teams to whom they've proven themselves to be superior. For Pirates fans, that's an unusual feeling.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.