In what has become a trend as of late the Pittsburgh Pirates have given up runs early and often. That happened again Friday night in a 7-1 loss to the Astros in Houston.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke did not pitch poorly, going five innings, giving up three hits and three runs while striking out eight. Locke only made one bad mistake the whole night; it came in the first when Jed Lowrie hit a three-run homer to give the Astros a 3-0 lead.
The Pirates offense was dormant again, with their best chance to score runs coming in the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs. Pedro Alvarez was at the plate but could not come through as he swung at three straight breaking balls outside the strike zone.
Replacing Locke in the sixth inning was James McDonald who faced four batters, giving up three runs without getting an out.
The only good thing that you could say about the Pirates tonight was at least they didn’t get shut out. Garrett Jones hit his 24th homer of the season in the top of the eighth inning.
The Pirates fall two games below .500 at 74-76 and look to get back to winning ways tomorrow when they send Kevin Correia to the mound for a start.