for this game

Duke's impressive outing leads Pirates past Astros

Jun 5, 2008 - 3:44 AM By Brad Everett PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- When Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt is on the mound, it's usually bad news for the Pittsburgh Pirates. But the Pirates were able to turn the tables Wednesday, as Oswalt and the Astros' offense continue to struggle.

Zach Duke outdueled Oswalt and Raul Chavez capped a three-run fourth inning with a two-run single as the Pirates defeated the Astros, 5-2, at PNC Park.

Duke (3-4) allowed two runs and seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks in 7 2/3 innings - his longest start of the season. It was the first win in four outings for Duke, who has lasted at least six innings in nine of his 12 starts.

"He did a great job," Pirates manager John Russell said. "I really thought he commanded the ball down in the zone away and his sinker was working very nice for him. It was a pitch he went to pretty much all night. (He) had some really efficient innings which is why he got that deep into the game."

Duke left after walking Miguel Tejada, and Damaso Marte finished off the eighth by getting Carlos Lee to fly out with runners on the corners. Closer Matt Capps then worked a perfect ninth to notch his 12th save.

Thanks to Duke and Chavez, the Pirates beat Oswalt for the first time in nine tries.

After Houston scored first on a solo home run by Ty Wigginton in the third inning, Pittsburgh did the bulk of its damage with a three-run fourth, highlighted by a two-out, two-run single by Chavez that gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead.

A journeyman catcher, Chavez has been a regular in the Pirates' lineup the past week because of his defensive abilities. But the clutch hit, as well as an insurance sacrifice fly in the eighth, showed he also can provide some offense.

"It's a big time difference when you play every day and you see a lot of pitches," Chavez said. "When you play every three or four days it's tough. But now, I've played a couple of games and I feel good at the plate."

Freddy Sanchez and Xavier Nady each went 2-for-4 for the Pirates, who took the second game of the three-game series after being shut out in the opener, 2-0, on Tuesday.

"Like (Russell) said, if we can give ourselves an opportunity to win every night, we're going to have more opportunities than the one last night," Duke said. "I'm happy that we came away with a win. We need a few. We need to get on the other side of the hump."

Oswalt (4-6), who is winless in his last four starts, was tagged for four runs and nine hits in six innings. The righthander walked one and struck out three.

"I felt pretty good early. I just had some balls ... two inches either way, and I would have got out of some innings there. It was just one of those games," Oswalt said.

Oswalt had not given up more than one earned run in any of his last six starts against the Pirates, surrendering a total of just four in 40 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Houston's offensive struggles continued as well, as it has scored just 10 runs in the past seven games. Lance Berkman went 2-for-4 but was the only member of the Astros with more than one hit.

"You just have to run them out there, and sooner or later, I guess things start clicking," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "They will come out of it. I know they will. You can't shut these guys down continuously like this. They're too good of hitters."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 8 2
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 1 x 5 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - ROY OSWALT, GEOFF GEARY (7TH), TIM BYRDAK (8TH), OSCAR
    VILLARREAL (8TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS
    PIT - ZACH DUKE, DAMASO MARTE (8TH), MATT CAPPS (9TH)
    AND RAUL CHAVEZ

    Jun 4 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RAUL CHAVEZ SCORED ADAM LAROCHE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: D MARTE (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Astros 2, Pirates 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 4 9:27 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C LEE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.297, 1-FOR-2)

    Astros 2, Pirates 4  Top 6, 0 OutsJun 4 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NATE MCLOUTH SCORED JACK WILSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MCLOUTH ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAY (.292, 1-FOR-2)

    Astros 1, Pirates 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 4 8:27 PM
  • 30
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots

    Astros 1, Pirates 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 4 8:17 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAUL CHAVEZ SCORED XAVIER NADY AND ADAM LAROCHE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R CHAVEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: Z DUKE (.087, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 1, Pirates 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 4 8:08 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM LAROCHE SCORED JASON BAY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A LAROCHE ON FIRST, X NADY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J BAUTISTA (.255, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 1, Pirates 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 4 8:05 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TY WIGGINTON (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF ZACH DUKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1, PITTSBURGH 0
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.171, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

    Astros 1, Pirates 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 4 7:40 PM
  • 10
    roots
    davipilot Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. PiratesJun 4 12:35 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. PiratesApr 2 4:26 AM