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Happ leads Astros to sweep of Pirates

Sep 1, 2011 - 5:23 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - J.A. Happ tossed seven scoreless innings and the Houston Astros shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-0, at Minute Maid Park.

Happ (5-15) scattered three hits, walked one and struck out six.

The Astros completed just their second sweep of the season -- they took three from the Cubs from May 30-June 1 -- and first at home since beating the St. Louis Cardinals three times from August 30-September 1, 2010.

"There's definitely a lot more energy and that's always a good thing," Happ said.

Houston scored both runs in the fourth inning, which started with Jimmy Paredes drawing a walk. Angel Sanchez then singled off James McDonald (8-7), who had pitched out of a no-out, bases loaded jam in the second.

Humberto Quintero then hit a tapper in front of the catcher. Paredes hesitated at first before breaking for home on Ryan Doumit's throw to first base. After the out was recorded, Garrett Jones was unable to gun down Paredes at the plate and his throwing error allowed Sanchez to move to third.

"Ryan looked him back, stopped him, made an accurate snap throw firm to first. We've got to be able to throw the ball from first to home and have a chance at getting the out there," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.

Happ drew a walk and Jordan Schafer plated a second run with a bunt single.

Fernando Rodriguez faced the minimum in the eighth for Houston and Mark Melancon pitched around a hit batsman in the ninth to earn his 16th save.

McDonald gave up seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six frames.

Game Notes

Houston's Carlos Lee went 2-for-4 on Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games...The Astros notched a season high-tying fourth straight win and improved to 9-6 in their last 15 games...Before the game, the Pirates traded outfielder Matt Diaz to the Atlanta Braves and minor-league outfielder John Bowker to the Philadelphia Phillies for players to be named later or cash considerations.

    HOUSTON: 2

    Aug 31 10:34 PM

  • Jordan Schafer reached first on a bunt single to first scoring Angel Sanchez with one out. On the play, J.A. Happ advances to second. Runners on first and second and Jose Altuve due up.

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  • Humberto Quintero grounded out catcher to first scoring Jimmy Paredes with one out. On the play, Angel Sanchez advanced to third on the throw. Runner on third and J.A. Happ due up.

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