MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh4 0 2 0 1 1 0 2 0 10140
Houston0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 091
  W: J. Musgrove (6-7)   L: B. Peacock (6-6)
11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE1:10 PM CT, June 27, 2019
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 38,943

Reeling Astros hope to win rubber game with Pirates

According to STATS
According to STATS

Pittsburgh Pirates at Houston Astros

  1. The Pirates have won four straight games, and six of their last eight overall. Over this eight-game stretch, Pittsburgh is averaging 6.3 runs per game while batting .313 as a team overall.
  2. The Astros ended a season-high seven-game losing streak with a win over the Yankees on Sunday. Houston batted .132 (7-for-53) with seven RBI with runners in scoring position during its seven-game losing streak, before going 3-for-4 with RISP with five RBI in the team's win over New York on Sunday.
  3. Pittsburgh and Houston have played just two series since the Astros moved to the AL in 2013 -- one in 2013 and another in 2016. The teams have split six games evenly, which were all played in Pittsburgh.
  4. Josh Bell has 51 extra-base hits in 75 games this season, the most by any switch-hitter through as many games in the live-ball era (since 1920). The only other switch-hitter since 1920 with 50+ XBH in a season before July is Lance Berkman, who had 52 with the Astros pre-July in 2008.
  5. Gerrit Cole will be making his first career start against his former team. Since being traded to the Astros before the 2018 season, Cole has a 1.93 ERA and an 8.4 strikeout-walk ratio in eight starts against the National League.
  6. Yordan Alvarez became the first player all-time with at least seven home runs and 16 RBI over his first career 12 games. Since his call-up on June 9, Alvarez's seven HR are tied with Josh Donaldson for the second most in the majors over that time (Charlie Blackmon -- 8).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 6/25/2019 thru 6/27/2019

In the aftermath of getting shelled for a second consecutive start, Astros left-hander Framber Valdez was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, putting an already taxed Houston staff on alert.

The Astros turned to a pair of position players -- first baseman Tyler White and catcher Max Stassi -- to mop up their 14-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, not only setting up a rubber match of this three-game interleague series Thursday but readying for a difficult stretch with either a shortened bullpen or the addition of another minor leaguer to the staff.

"I pitched two position players, so that tells you where our bullpen is and where this game was," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We will have to take a look at all our options and see how we navigate. We got four more games in a row, the two games at Coors Field (July 2-3) that are looming, which are always difficult. We will look at our options and see what's best to get us through these games."

Right-hander Brad Peacock (6-5, 3.62 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros on Thursday. Peacock suffered his second consecutive loss on June 21 against the New York Yankees, allowing two runs on five hits with 11 strikeouts over six innings in a 4-1 defeat. The outing marked his second double-digit strikeout performance this season.

Peacock has faced the Pirates only once in relief during his career.

Former Astros right-hander Joe Musgrove (5-7, 4.57) will start the series finale for the Pirates. It will mark the first career appearance for Musgrove against the Astros, who moved him to Pittsburgh on Jan. 13, 2018 as part of the trade that netted right-hander Gerrit Cole.

Musgrove is 5-3 with a 4.37 ERA over 13 career interleague appearances (nine starts) and 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA in such starts this season. Musgrove will make his first appearance at Minute Maid Park since winning Game 5 of the 2017 World Series in relief.

He went 11-12 with a 4.52 ERA over 49 appearances (25 starts) with the Astros, who acquired Musgrove from Toronto on July 20, 2012.

In left fielder Corey Dickerson, the Pirates have a veteran capable of providing both production and experience. Dickerson is one of a small handful of thirtysomethings on the Pirates' 25-man roster and, after earning a Gold Glove in his first season in Pittsburgh in 2018, Dickerson missed 58 games this season with a right posterior shoulder strain.

While helping the Pirates even the series with the Astros on Wednesday, Dickerson provided a picture of what they lacked as he sat.

Dickerson finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs, three runs and three doubles. Pittsburgh is laboring to stay in the postseason hunt, and Dickerson offers some thrust toward that goal.

"We need him; he's a good player," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "And he's a hungry player. And he showed that. He plays hard, he plays with intensity and he likes to play.

"He missed a lot of time and he's trying to find a way to maximize the time he's got in front of him, basically one day at a time. He's a welcome addition to our club. It's good having him in play."

--Field Level Media

Updated June 27, 2019

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