for this game

Pirates edge Astros; Pence goes hitless

Jun 15, 2011 - 5:10 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Jeff Karstens combined with five other pitchers in a four-hit shutout to help the Pittsburgh Pirates take a 1-0 win over the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game set.

Karstens (4-4) gave up three hits with three strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings for the Pirates, who have won three of their last four. Andrew McCutchen extended his hitting streak to 13 games while Garret Jones had two hits and drove in the lone run of the game.

"Jeff was very, very effective again tonight. Talk about stepping on and off the gas, using his fastball in spots, mixing in his breaking ball, slider, change-up. All of his pitches were very effective," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said about Karstens.

Bud Norris (4-5) was the tough-luck loser as he gave charged with one run on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts over seven innings for the Astros, who have dropped five of their last six games. Hunter Pence went 0-for-4 and had a career-high 23-game hitting streak snapped.

"It was a great experience and I hope some of the fans got to enjoy it a little bit. I think the challenge of every day coming in and trying to do that was pretty fun," Pence said about the end of his hit streak.

The only run of the game came in the second inning as Neil Walker led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and crossed the plate when Jones singled to right.

Houston got a runner to second in the fifth on a two-out single from Brett Wallace followed by a balk from Karstens, but Chris Johnson struck out to end the frame.

Pittsburgh got its first two men on base in the sixth, but the next two struck out and Michael McKenry grounded out to kill the inning.

After Carlos Lee singled with two outs in the seventh, Chris Resop took the mound and got Jeff Keppinger to strike out.

Three pitchers combined to pitch the eighth inning for the Pirates while Joel Hanrahan worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 18th save of the season.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh took two of three from Houston in Pittsburgh in early May...Charlie Morton pitches for the Pirates on Wednesday and will be opposed by J.A. Happ...Karstens has allowed just one earned run in his past 22 2/3 innings. He improved to 2-2 lifetime against Houston...Norris fell to 2-4 in his starts against the Pirates.