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

It was a soggy, quiet night at PNC Park thanks to a rain delay and a terrible crowd of less than 13,000, but there was nothing depressing about the Pirates’ performance as they snapped their losing streak with a solid 6-2 victory against the awful Astros. The stars of the game were Wandy Rodriguez, Andrew McCutchen, and Brock Holt. Nobody else really did much of anything, but those three didn’t need much help.

Rodriguez delivered another much-needed scoreless start, blanking his former club for seven excellent innings. He looked sharp, too, as he struck out seven, walked just one, and allowed four hits (all singles). For all the moaning and groaning people did once Rodriguez struggled out of the gate as a Pirate, he’s made up for it now with 13 consecutive scoreless innings in games the Pirates desperately needed. It was only the Astros, of course, but this was the Wandy the Pirates were seeking when they acquired him in late July.

McCutchen went 4-for-4, vaulting him back into the major league lead in batting average (.347). The first three knocks were all RBI’s – all solidly hit, and one for a double. It’s nice to see him locked in at the plate and hitting the ball hard – obviously he can take the club a long way if he starts doing that consistently again.

Meanwhile, Holt set the table for Cutch all night. The rookie second baseman went 4-for-5 in his fourth major league game, delivering impressive at-bat after impressive at-bat. He’s looked fantastic so far…but remember, only four games. He reportedly can’t play shortstop regularly, so it’ll be hard to find a spot for him in the lineup once Neil Walker comes back…but for now, he seems like the perfect guy to fill in — and should be a nice asset off the bench once Neil comes back. He also seems like an ideal guy for the leadoff spot in the order.

Those three performances were the only notable ones – besides the Astros being terrible. That was never more apparent than when Pedro Alvarez‘s pop up turned in to two runs as two converging Astro infielders dropped it. The play was an indication of how bad they’ve been all season. Again, the Pirates need to keep taking advantage of games like this — they still have four left with Houston, and more against teams like the Cubs and Mets.

Pirates 6, Astros 2 / Box / 2012 Record: 71-64 / Next: Wednesday, vs. Astros, 7:05

MVP: McCutchen (+.262) / LVP: Alvarez (-.048) / Key play: McCutchen’s double

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