(Friday, May 11th)
Final Score: Houston 1, Pittsburgh 0
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Bud Norris spun six scoreless innings of three-hit ball and the Astros held off the Pirates, 1-0, in the opener of a three-game weekend set at PNC Park on Friday.
Norris (3-1) struck out eight without walking a batter, Brett Myers threw a perfect ninth for his ninth save of the season and Chris Johnson finished with two of Houston's four hits to give the Astros their second win in three tries.
James McDonald (2-2) was stellar in the setback, tossing eight innings of one- run ball on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. Rod Barajas tallied two base hits for the Pirates, who dropped their second straight contest.
"When the game gets hard, it looks more difficult to play than it is," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle about his team's inability to knock in a run. "No one is beating themselves up more than those guys in there. We've got to find a way to continue to push through it."
The Astros scored the only run of the game in the second inning as Brian Bogusevic smacked a leadoff single and moved to third on a single from Johnson. Justin Maxwell then grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, but Bogusevic scurried home from third to put the Astros on the board.
Jose Tabata gave the Pirates their first hit of the game in the fourth inning with a leadoff triple off the wall in right field. After a pop out from Nate McLouth, Andrew McCutchen ripped a grounder to shortstop Jed Lowrie, who fired home to get Tabata at the plate and keep the Pirates off the board.
Pittsburgh threatened again in the sixth as Barajas opened the frame with a double into center field and moved to third on a single from Clint Barmes.
Norris then misplayed a bunt from McDonald to load the bases with no outs before getting Tabata and McCutchen to strike out swinging around a McLouth fly out to shallow right to keep the Pirates scoreless.
"You can't say enough about Bud and the way he pitched," said Houston manager Brad Mills. "The way he pitched to get out of that sixth inning. He really had to battle and go through everything and he did."
Wesley Wright and Wilton Lopez combined for two scoreless innings of one-hit ball to help blank the Pirates before handing the ball to Myers in the ninth.
Norris improved to 4-4 in nine career starts against Pittsburgh...McDonald has allowed just five runs in 27 1/3 innings in four home starts this season...Mills was ejected by umpire Jim Joyce for arguing a call in the eighth inning.
05/12 00:15:37 ET