Astros overwhelm Pirates offensively in 8-2 victory

Apr 10, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Yordan Alvarez (44) hits a single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Astros overwhelm Pirates offensively in 8-2 victory

The Houston Astros bombarded the Pittsburgh Pirates early Monday evening, scoring seven of their eight runs in the first four innings en route to an 8-2 win.

Houston (5-6) handed Pittsburgh starting pitcher Roansy Contreras his first loss of the season.

Knocking out Contreras

Contreras made it through only 3.1 innings and gave up seven earned runs and nine hits. Contreras struggled with commanding his pitches. He made 83 pitches but only 44 for strikes.

Right fielder Kyle Tucker singled to left field in the top of the first inning, scoring Alex Bregman for the game’s first run.

Mauricio Dubón drove in the second run of the game in the top of the second inning when his single to right field brought Jeremy Peña home. Yordan Alvarez plated Houston’s other two runs in the inning with a single to left that drove in both Dubón and Martin Maldonaldo.

Maldonaldo pushed across another run in the top of the third inning with a single to left field that scored Corey Julks, extending the Astros‘ lead to 5-1.

Houston scored two more runs in the top of the fourth inning when Tucker’s single allowed Alvarez and Bregman to cross home plate.

Valdez goes seven

The Astros have had starting pitchers go seven innings in back-to-back games. Framber Valdez gave up only two earned runs while striking out five batters on 107 pitches against the Pirates. He secured his first victory of the season, moving his record to 1-1.

Valdez worked out of a jam at the end of the seventh inning after walking Connor Joe and Rodolfo Castro to start things off. He escaped on a 6-4-3 double-play.

Pittsburgh’s scored its two runs versus Valdez with a solo home run by Ji-Man Choi in the bottom of the second inning and a fourth-inning single to right field by Castro that drove in Carlos Santana.

Relief pitchers Phil Maton, who got the eighth inning, and Seth Martinez, who was on the mound for the ninth inning, shut down the Pirates (6-4). Each pitcher recorded two strikeouts and did not allow a hit.

News and Notes

•Alvarez tallied three hits and got on base with a walk during his five plate appearances against the Pirates. He was responsible for two of Houston’s runs.

•Tucker went 2-4 against the Pirates on Monday. He had three RBIs.

• Dubón went 3-5 and was responsible for one RBI.

•Tucker addressed being ejected from Sunday’s game against the Twins. He was tossed during the eighth inning after arguing a baserunner interference call.

“The bag is on the line in fair territory,” Tucker said. “I thought I was running toward the bag. I get if I was running, like, in the grass or something that would, in my opinion, be getting in the way. I thought I was running direct to the bag and the throw was in line with that.”

•Jose Altuve joined the team in Pittsburgh. He did not give a health update on the thumb injury he suffered during the World Baseball Classic.

Up Next

Game two of the three-game series between the Astros and Pirates will be on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 5:35 p.m. CT. Cristian Javier (1-0) is expected on the mound for Houston. Mitch Keller (1-0) will start against the Astros.

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