for this game

Oswalt shuts down Pirates

Sep 21, 2008 - 9:31 PM By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- In his quest to keep the Houston Astros' desperate playoff hopes alive, Roy Oswalt improved to 10-2 since June 30 by pitching six strong innings as the Astros beat Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 Sunday afternoon in the Pirates home finale.

Bothered by a stiff neck, Oswalt (16-10) allowed only one run and seven hits and no walks with four strikeouts.

"I didn't feel very good, to be honest with you," Oswalt said. "I was coming in telling the guys I'd be lucky to get through five innings. I didn't feel good (pregame) in the bullpen, and I didn't feel food the first two innings. By the fifth, I was OK but not great."

The win allowed Houston to move to within four games of the New York Mets in the race for the National League's wild card spot.

"(Oswalt) was good. He was very, very good," said Astros manager Cecil Cooper, adding that Oswalt will next pitch Thursday on three days rest. "He was sharp.

"This was a good win for us. It's what we needed. It allows us to kind of breath in a little bit."

Houston's Michael Bourn and Miguel Tejada each had three hits, with Bourn adding two steals and a run and Tejada two runs and an RBI.

Geoff Blum had two hits, a run and an RBI for the Astros.

Oswalt improved to 13-6 lifetime against the Pirates. He has as allowed only two runs during his past six victories combined and has been allowed only 12 total earned runs in his past 10 starts overall for.

"That's what he's able to do; he's a great pitcher," Pirates manager John Russell said. "He changes speeds, locates his fastball. We got to him one inning, and maybe could have got a couple more runs there. He's good, and that's why he is who he is."

Ryan Doumit went 3-for-4 and Freddy Sanchez had two hits for the Pirates, who went 5-5 during their final homestand after entering it losers of 17 of their previous 20.

Houston took a 2-0 lead in the second against Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf courtesy a double by Berkman that scored Mark Loretta and a sacrifice fly by Geoff Blum that drove in Tejada. The Astros added two more in the fifth on a two-out, two-run single by Brad Ausmus that scored Tejada and Blum.

"I think the important thing is that with Roy pitching, the comfort you feel with a four-run lead as opposed to a two-run lead lets you feel pretty good about your chances," Ausmus said. "It's tough for them to make up four runs with the way Roy's been pitching."

Houston's fifth run came in the eighth when Tejada's single to right scored Bourn - though not without controversy. The throw from Brandon Moss beat Bourn to the plate but television replays confirmed that Bourn's slide eluded catcher Ryan Doumit's tag. Pirates manager John Russell argued the call to no avail.

The Astros made it 6-1 on a wild pitch by Romulo Sanchez in the ninth.

Making his fourth start of the season, Ohlendorf (0-3) was charged with four runs on 10 hits and two walks in five innings, striking out three.

Acquired from the Yankees - with whom he was a reliever - in July, the righthander has a 6.83 ERA with Pittsburgh.

"I felt like (my stuff) was a lot better than it was the past two games," Ohlendorf said. "I felt like I made some steps forward. I'm still not where I want to be, but I felt like it was an improvement."

Pittsburgh scored in the fifth -- when Andy LaRoche singled with two outs and Luis Cruz followed with a double to score him - and on a Brandon Moss RBI single in the ninth.

"We're still in the hunt mathematically," Cooper said. "It's a long shot, but we'll play hard this last week and see what happens."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 1 1 6 14 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - ROY OSWALT, GEOFF GEARY (7TH), LATROY HAWKINS (8TH), WESLEY
    WRIGHT (9TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS
    PIT - ROSS OHLENDORF, DENNY BAUTISTA (6TH), T.J. BEAM
    (6TH), SEAN BU

    Sep 21 4:42 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON MOSS SCORED RYAN DOUMIT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B MOSS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 6
    PITTSBURGH 2 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: AN LAROCHE (.169, 1-FOR-3)

    Astros 6, Pirates 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsSep 21 4:41 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY ROMULO SANCHEZ ALLOWED HUNTER PENCE TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 6
    PITTSBURGH 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: R ABERCROMBIE (.302, 0-FOR-0)

    Astros 6, Pirates 1  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 21 4:30 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Astros 4, Pirates 1  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 21 4:02 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LUIS CRUZ SCORED ANDY LAROCHE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L CRUZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    PITTSBURGH 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R OHLENDORF (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 4, Pirates 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 21 3:11 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRAD AUSMUS SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA AND GEOFF BLUM.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B AUSMUS ON FIRST, T WIGGINTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: R OSWALT (.197, 0-FOR-1, SAC)

    Astros 4, Pirates 0  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 21 2:58 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GEOFF BLUM SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.271, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 2, Pirates 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 21 2:21 PM


  • NL
    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, M TEJADA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: G BLUM (.234, 1-FOR-1)

    Astros 1, Pirates 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 21 2:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Astros vs. PiratesApr 2 4:37 AM