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Astros Hang On for 5-4 Win Over Pirates

The Astros jumped out to a 5-1 lead and were able to hold on for the win to take the series and end the road trip with a 5-2 record.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The game started out pretty well as the first two Astros to reach base scored. After going down in order in the 1st, Correa led off the 2nd with a single and Gattis followed with a 2-run blast 413 ft to center field to give the Astros an early 2-0 lead (Gattis was catching today so what did you expect?).

Jordy Mercer hit a solo HR in the bottom of the 3rd to cut the lead in half.

Correa led off the 4th with a single and scored on a triple by Marwin Gonzalez to give the Astros a 3-1 lead. With 1 out and a man on 3rd, the Astros were unable to score the runner as the Pirates took advantage of the NL ballpark rules. Reed struck out on 3 pitches and then the Pirates elected to walk Teoscar Hernandez intentionally so they could pitch to McHugh. The strategy worked like a gem for Pittsburgh as Collin struck out on 3 pitches to end the inning.

George Springer led off the 5th with a single and Bregman followed with a gift of a double that hit off the 3rd base bag and bounced into the outfield, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs and Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa due up. The Astros infield duo didn't disappoint as they hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to increase the Astros lead to 5-1.

The Pirates would get 2 runs right back in the bottom of the inning as McHugh ran into trouble. After giving up back-to-back singles to Jordy Mercer and John Jaso to start the inning, Josh Harrison bunted to move the runners over and was thrown out at first. Matt Joyce struck out swinging for the second out, and it looked like McHugh might escape the inning unscathed. However, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco (who terrorized the Astros this series) hit back-to-back RBI singles to cut the lead to 5-3.

Pat Neshek replaced McHugh to start the 6th for the Astros, and gave way to Devenski with 2 outs and a man on 1st. Devenski got Adam Frazier to fly out on one pitch to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 7th, Devenski faced the red-hot Polanco with a man on 2nd and 2 outs, clinging to a 2-run lead. Polanco hit a triple to right field to make it a one-run ball game, 5-4. Devenski walked Josh Bell and then got out of the inning thanks to a nice play by Marwin Gonzalez on a ground ball off the bat of Francisco Cervelli.

In the top of the 8th, Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez drew back-to-back walks with 2 outs and Yulieski Gurriel pinch-hit for Devenski, who had taken A.J. Reed's spot in the lineup in a double switch. Gurriel made good contact on the first pitch he saw, driving a ball to left field, but Gregory Polanco was able to catch it to end the inning. Will Harris pitched a scoreless 8th, striking out 2 and giving up a single to Andrew McCutchen, who came in as a pinch-hitter.

The Astros went down quietly in the 9th and Ken Giles came in to close things out. The first batter he faced, Matt Joyce, absolutely scalded a ball. Fortunately for Giles, he has Carlos Correa playing shortstop behind him and Correa was able to snag the line drive for the first out. Giles struck out Marte swinging and then had to face Polanco with a 1-run lead and the game on the line. Giles used his nasty slider to strike out Polanco swinging, and the Astros won 5-4.

The Astros head home with a day off tomorrow and are surely feeling good after winning back-to-back series against playoff contenders on the road to finish the road trip 5-2. They will play 6 home games against teams with losing records in the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics before entering another daunting stretch of games.

Go 'Stros!!