My­ers, Kep­pinger lead Astros to win, con­tin­u­ing dom­i­nance over Pi­rates

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

PITTS­BURGH — Jeff Kep­pinger home­red and had three RBIs, Brett My­ers al­lowed two runs while work­ing into the eighth in­ning, and the Hous­ton Astros re­mained un­beaten in seven games against the Pitts­burgh Pi­rates this sea­son with a 5-2 win Fri­day night.

My­ers (7-6) ex­tended his club record for con­sec­u­tive starts of at least six in­nings to be­gin a sea­son to 19 by al­low­ing two runs on five hits in 72⁄ in­nings.

Matt Lind­strom worked a per­fect ninth for his 22nd save in 26 op­por­tu­ni­ties.

An­drew McCutchen went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run for Pitts­burgh, which has lost seven con­sec­u­tive over­all.

Mak­ing his first start in ex­actly one month, the Pi­rates’ Zach Duke (3-9) pitched five ef­fec­tive in­nings, al­low­ing two runs on five hits. But he lost for the ninth time in his last

al­lowed two runs on five hits in 72⁄3 in­nings. 10 de­ci­sions.

In the Astros’ first game with for­mer star Jeff Bag­well as their hit­ting coach, the team scored at least five runs for only the third time in its past 10 con­tests.

Kep­pinger, a for­mer Pi­rates farm­hand who is 7 for 13 in his past three games, has hit three of his four home runs this sea­son in his past six games. He also had an RBI dou­ble in the sev­enth and drove in Ja­son Bour­geois with a ground­out in the first.

That meant the Pi­rates had al­lowed at least one first-in­ning run for the sixth time in their past seven games. This came with­out a ball reach­ing the out­field — an in­field sin­gle, two stolen bases and a ground­out.

Hous­ton took a 2-0 lead with two outs in the sec­ond when Hum­berto Quin­tero dou­bled in Hunter Pence.

McCutchen scored on Neil Walker’s sac­ri­fice fly in the fourth.

D.J. Car­rasco re­lieved Duke in the sixth, and Kep­pinger took the first pitch he threw and hit it just in­side the left­field foul pole to make it 3-1. Later that in­ning, Pence scored on a squeeze play with An­gel Sanchez at the plate.

The Pi­rates chased My­ers in the eighth when McCutchen’s two-out sin­gle drove in Last­ings Milledge. Jose Ta­bata fol­lowed with a sin­gle off of Bran­don Lyon, but Walker’s sink­ing liner to left was caught by a run­ning Bour­geois to end the threat.

Brett My­ers

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