We're a day late on this one, but it was so compelling, I broke the rules a bit to get this one in Monday. On this day, one year ago, Bud Norris struck out 14 as the Astros beat Pittsburgh 3-2 at Minute Maid Park.
Norris threw seven innings, allowing five hits, two runs and a walk. He also won for the fifth time that season and had a Game Score of 72. Wilton Lopez pitched a scoreless eighth while Brandon Lyon mowed through the ninth for his fourth save of the season.
BudChuck struck out at least two batters in all but one inning. He struck out the side in the first, but it only after a bump start to the inning. Norris gave up a leadoff triple to Andrew McCutcheon and then a two-run home run to Garrett Jones. Jose Tabata reached on an error by first baseman Carlos Lee. Norris then got Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Ryan Doumit swinging to end the inning.
In the second, he saw men on second and third with one out before getting McCutcheon swinging. He loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Jones before Tabata lined out to second. Alvarez was the first batter to strike out looking, leading off the top of the third. Alvarez was the only batter to strike out looking against Norris and that came on a 2-2 count. Only two of Norris' K's came on a 3-2 count, with both of those strikeouts coming against Jeff Clement.
Hunter Pence and Angel Sanchez provided the offense in this one, as Sanchez went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Pence hit his 16th home run of the season and added two doubles, going 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored.