HOUSTON (KDKA) – For the second straight game, the bullpen let a slim lead disappear in the eighth inning, but the outcome of the game was different.
The Pirates scored three runs in the eleventh inning to beat the Houston Astros 7-5 Sunday afternoon.
The win also kept them a half game behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Jose Veras came into the game with a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning and allowed a leadoff single to Jeff Keppinger.
Veras was able to retire Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee before being lifted in favor of closer Joel Hanrahan.
However, the move did not work as planned.
Chris Johnson ripped a double to center field that brought home the tying run.
It was the first blown save of the year for Hanrahan, who had successfully completed all 26 previous chances.
Hanrahan came back out for the ninth inning and retired the Astros in order to force extra innings.
Brandon Wood lead off the eleventh inning with a double to right field. Two batters later, he advanced to third on a fielding error by Mark Melancon.
Wood would score the go-ahead run on a passed ball. Alex Presley added to the lead with a single to right field that brought Xavier Paul around to score.
Andrew McCutchen stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second with two out. He reached base because of an error by Aneury Rodriguez that also allowed Presley to score.
In the bottom of the eleventh inning, Chris Resop sat down the first two batters he faced before allowing a solo home run to Humberto Quintero.
Resop regrouped and got Jason Michaels to fly out to end the game for his first save of the year.
Kevin Correia allowed three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out four in six innings of work.
The Pirates will return home to open up a three-game series with the Reds on Monday.
James McDonald (5-4, 4.42 ERA) is scheduled to take on Dontrelle Willis (0-0, 3.00 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.