PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Surprisingly enough, the Pittsburgh Pirates struggled more against Houston starting pitcher Bud Norris than they did against phenom Steven Strasburg the night before.
The Pirates lost to Houston, 1-0, Friday night, managing just four hits. It was a night full of oddities, punctuated by a blown bases-loaded, no-out situation in the sixth inning.
Catcher Rod Barajas doubled, shortstop Clint Barmes singled and pitcher James McDonald bunted and reached base, setting up the bases loaded with no outs. A fly ball would have likely scored a run, but Pittsburgh’s bats couldn’t manage any quality contact.
Right fielder Jose Tabata struck out, left fielder Nate McLouth popped out to second and center fielder Andrew McCutchen struck out swinging, ending the threat.
The lack of offense wasted a stellar start from McDonald, who pitched eight innings and allowed just one run on four hits. He struck out eight and walked just two.
Houston’s one and only run came in the top of the second off McDonald, when left fielder Justin Maxwell grounded into a double play that scored Brian Bogusevic for a 1-0 lead.
It was all the Astros needed.