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Pirates Vs. Astros: J.A. Happ Stifles, Bucs Suffer Sweep With 2-0 Loss

The Pirates offense fails to produce run support for James McDonald.

A bad series for the Pirates in Houston ended appropriately on Wednesday night as the Astros' J.A. Happ tossed seven shutout innings to spring his team to a 2-0 win and a series sweep of Pittsburgh.

The lefty, who entered the game with an ERA north of six, yielded just three hits and one walk while striking out six on route to earning his fifth win of the season. Fernando Rodriguez and Mark Melancon pitched scoreless eight and ninth innings respectively to seal the Houston victory.

James McDonald pitched a touch-and-go six innings for the Bucs, giving up just two runs, one earned, on seven hits to keep the Pirates in the game. Pittsburgh's anemic offense managed just four hits, however, and simply couldn't get their starter the support he needed for his eighth win.

The Pirates now return to Pittsburgh briefly to make up a rainout with the Dodgers at PNC Park on Thursday night before heading to Chicago for a weekend set with the Cubs. There, they'll look to put an 8-22 August behind them by getting off to a good start in September. 

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