PITTSBURGH (AP) – Doug Fister pitched seven scoreless innings, Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run homer and the Houston Astros beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 on Monday night.
Hernandez connected off fellow rookie Jameson Taillon (3-3) in the fifth inning after A.J. Reed’s leadoff walk. It was the third home run for Hernandez, who was called up from Triple-A Fresno on Aug. 12 to make his major league debut.
Alex Bregman, another Astros rookie, hit his fourth homer in the ninth inning off Neftali Feliz.
Houston won its fourth straight game and Pittsburgh lost its fourth in a row. Both teams are competing for wild-card spots.
Fister struck out six, walked one and retired 11 of the first 12 batters. He had allowed nine runs and 11 hits over nine innings in his previous two starts.
Ken Giles got his fourth save despite allowing David Freese’s RBI single in the ninth. Freese was thrown out at second base when he tried to advance on an overthrow by first baseman Marwin Gonzalez to end the game.
Taillon made his seventh consecutive quality start since being activated from the disabled list July 19. He pitched eight innings, allowing two runs and four hits with a career-high eight strikeouts.
Gregory Polanco had a pair of doubles and scored Pittsburgh’s lone run.
Astros: INF/OF Yulieksi Gurriel grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth a day after leaving his major league debut with right hamstring tightness. Gurriel signed a $47.5 million, five-year contract in July after defecting from Cuba. He is expected to start Tuesday night. … 3B Luis Valbuena (strained right hamstring) will be examined by doctors Wednesday to determine whether he needs season-ending surgery. … OF Preston Tucker (strained right shoulder) is likely to begin a rehab assignment this weekend.
Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow (right shoulder soreness) pitched three scoreless innings and threw 57 pitches Monday night in his second rehab start with Double-A Altoona, allowing two hits while striking out six and walking three against Harrisburg in the Eastern League.
INF David Freese signed a two-year, $11 million contract prior the game that takes him through the 2018 season. Freese will make $6.25 million in 2017 and $4.25 million in 2018. There’s a $6 million club option for 2019 or a $500,000 buyout.
Rookie 1B Josh Bell, who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday, made his second straight start. Manager Clint Hurdle said the 24-year-old switch-hitter will see the majority of playing time in place of slumping 1B John Jaso.
Astros: RHP Joe Musgrove (1-1, 4.18 ERA) will make his fourth career start Tuesday night since being called up Aug. 1 from Triple-A Fresno.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (9-6, 4.83) is 2-1 with a 4.41 ERA in three starts since being acquired Aug. 1 from the New York Yankees in a trade.
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