Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 9/5/12

 The Pirates did what they were supposed to do, cruising to an easy 6-3 win over the Astros to wrap up a series win and move within 1.5 games of the Cardinals on Tuesday night. Houston lost its final game at PNC Park as an NL team, and the Bucs matched last season’s win total with their 72nd victory.

Kevin Correia pitched very well, challenging the Astros and forcing them to put the ball in play quickly. They did just that, and most of the time it resulted in a quick out. Kevin allowed just four hits and a walk in six innings and was extremely efficient, throwing just 67 pitches. He certainly could’ve gone more and wasn’t happy about coming out, but the Bucs had to be thrilled with his effort. Correia struck out just one Astro, but they only threatened against him once and got only one run across before a nifty 3-2-3 double play by Gaby Sanchez and Rod Barajas ended the inning.

Meanwhile, the Bucco offense got right to work against converted reliever Fernando Abad. Clint Barmes – batting in the two spot, which made everybody mad before the game – had a brilliant evening at the plate, and started the Bucs’ rally in the first. Andrew McCutchen walked, and Garrett Jones singled in a run. Sanchez did the same to put the Bucs up 2-0 quickly.

Alex Presley pounded a triple to deep center that managed to score Rod Barajas from first (always an entertaining sight) and Brock Holt picked up 2 RBI’s with an infield hit and a sac fly for the other Pirates runs. After that, Correia and Jared Hughes sailed through the Houston lineup until Jason Grilli took over in the ninth. He allowed a two run homer with two outs, but finished the job to clinch a much-needed series win.

These last two nights definitely make you wonder about what happened to the Pirates on Monday, but hey – the Astros DO have 42 wins somehow this year. The Pirates got the series win thanks to a couple great starting pitching efforts and a decent effort from the offense, and now have a chance to make more noise this weekend at home against the Cubs.

Pirates 6, Astros 3 / Box / 2012 Record: 72-64 / Next: Friday, vs. Cubs, 7:05

MVP: Presley (+.145) / LVP: Alvarez (-.031) / Key play: The 3-2-3 DP

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