Astros down PiratesSep 3, 2012 - 11:24 PM
Gonzalez held the Pittsburgh Pirates at bay and led the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win in the opener of a three-game set.
Gonzalez (1-0) gave up one run on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
"It was awesome," Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "This guy threw strikes, aggressive with his offspeed. He kept us in the game. No panic at all. That was a big lift."
"He spotted his fastball," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He mixed speeds. He came after you. He's not going to hold anything back. I told you he'd be hungry, wants to stay in the big leagues. We just weren't able to answer."
The top three hitters of the Astros' order led the offensive charge. Jose Altuve, Tyler Greene and Brett Wallace combined for seven of Houston's 10 hits, drove in three runs and scored four times.
Jeff Locke (0-1) took the loss in his first start of the season. The Pittsburgh left-hander gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings of work.
Pedro Alvarez tripled and scored Pittsburgh's only run as the Pirates lost their fourth straight game.
The Astros, led by the top of their order, took a quick lead. Altuve, Greene and Wallace started the game with three straight singles.
After Justin Maxwell grounded into a fielder's choice, Matt Downs hit a ground ball that deflected off Locke's glove. Second baseman Brock Holt fielded the ball and unsuccessfully tried to tag Maxwell before getting the out at first, allowing Greene to score.
Houston added to its lead when the lineup turned over for the third inning. After Altuve grounded out to start the inning, Greene walked and moved to third on Wallace's base hit. Maxwell hit a ground ball to the hole on the left side and Clint Barmes got a force out at second base, but Greene came home to score the Astros' second run.
The Astros posted three more runs in the fifth inning after Altuve and Greene singled with one out. Wallace crushed a first-pitch curveball into the first row in right-center field to open up a five-run lead.
Pittsburgh got its lone run in the fifth inning after Alvarez delivered a leadoff triple. After Rod Barajas struck out, Alvarez scored when Barmes singled to right field.
The Houston bullpen tossed 3 2/3 perfect innings to seal the win. Mickey Storey went 1 2/3 innings with two strikeouts to get through the seventh inning and Wesley Wright retired the Pirates in order in the eighth and ninth to close out the win.
Houston purchased Gonzalez's contract prior to the game. Gonzalez is the 11th pitcher to start a game for the Astros this season ... The Pirates selected the contract of infielder Jeff Clement and added him to the roster before the game. He was outrighted on Friday ... The Pirates had won nine of their last 10 games against Houston ... Alvarez has reached base safely in 16 of his last 17 games, hitting .377 ... Pittsburgh went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded five ... Houston went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.
- HOUSTON: 5
Sep 3 4:27 PM
- Clint Barmes single to right scored Pedro Alvarez with one out. Runner on first and Jeff Locke due up.
Astros 5, Pirates 1 Bot 5, 1 OutSep 3 3:03 PM
- Brett Wallace one-out, three-run Home Run (7) to right center scored Jose Altuve and Tyler Greene. Justin Maxwell due up.
Astros 5, Pirates 0 Top 5, 1 OutSep 3 2:53 PM
- Justin Maxwell grounded into a fielder's choice, short to second scored Tyler Greene with two out. On the play, Brett Wallace out at second. Runner on first with two outs and Matt Downs due up.
Astros 2, Pirates 0 Top 3, 2 OutsSep 3 2:18 PM
- Matt Downs ground out second to first scored Tyler Greene with two out. On the play, Justin Maxwell advances to second and Brett Wallace advances to third. Runners on second and third and Matt Dominguez due up.
Astros 1, Pirates 0 Top 1, 2 OutsSep 3 1:44 PM
- HOUSTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Sep 3 1:37 PM
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