Pirates 1, Astros 0

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 19, 2013
Jeff Locke allowed three hits over seven innings, Pedro Alvarez homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the eighth time in 10 games, 1-0 over the Houston Astros on Sunday. Locke (4-1) won his fourth straight decisions and gave up one run or fewer for the fifth time in his past eight outings. He struck out four and walked three. The notoriously streaky Alvarez pushed his average above .200 for just the second time since the second game of the season. His eighth home run came on the first pitch and was an opposite field line drive down the left field line in the fifth. Alvarez's longball was his second of the series and third in eight games. It was the lone mistake by Astros starter Lucas Harrell, who lost his third consecutive decision despite allowing four hits and one walk in seven innings. Off to their best 44-game start since 1991, the Pirates (26-18) have the National League's third-best record. They won despite the absence of outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who was a late scratch because of soreness in his right knee. Despite allowing the leadoff man to reach four times, Locke permitted a runner to reach second base only once. In his past six outings, Locke has allowed 21 hits and seven earned runs over 37 innings (1.70 ERA). A day after his 13-game scoreless streak came to an end, Mark Melancon worked a perfect eighth and Jason Grilli finished off the game with a 1-2-3 ninth for his majors-leading 17th save. In addition to his home run, Alvarez walked in the second and flied out to the wall in center in the seventh. Pittsburgh's other chance at scoring came the prior inning, when Travis Snider was thrown out at the plate by centerfielder Brandon Barnes on a two-out single by Gaby Sanchez. The throw easily beat Snider, who had doubled, and Snider's shoulder to the chest of Astros catcher Chris Corporan did not jar the ball loose. Through 6 1-3 innings, Alvarez's home run and Snider's double were the only balls to leave the infield off Harrell (3-5), who had a single in a rare plate appearance for an American League pitcher. The Astros, who won in 11 innings Saturday night, did not have an extra-base hit. NOTES: Astros SS Ronny Cedeno was scratched from the lineup late Sunday morning because of a sinus infection. ... Houston has won three of its 11 series played this season while Pittsburgh is 8-2-2 in its past 12 series. ... The Pirates are off Monday but then play on 16 consecutive days. They open up a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on Tuesday. ... Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel will make his third start of the season in the opener of a three-game series in Kansas City on Monday.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Tyler Lockett opens 2nd half with 75-yard TD

Newton benched on first play, Anderson immediately throws INT

Former commissioner Bud Selig and Braves GM John Schuerholz are headed to the Hall of Fame

WATCH: Josh Lambo has worst FG attempt of season so far

WATCH: Chiefs win game with incredible special teams play

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Jeff Fisher lost his challenge flag vs. Patriots

Colin Kaepernick benched for Blaine Gabbert in Chicago

Gronkowski releases statement, has no plans to retire

Sean Payton unhappy about Brandin Cooks trade rumors

Report: A 2015 investigation led to Kevin Wilson’s departure from Indiana

Houston denies report that Art Briles is candidate for coaching position

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 13

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker