Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Houston Keeps Hold on Second, Wins Series from Bucs

The Astros get blown out in the first game but come back with two pitching gems to win the series over the Pirates. Houston continues to put the pressure on first-place Los Angeles in a closer-than-expected race. The Astros are now 31-26, while the Bucs drop to 31-27.

Game 1: PIT 6, HOU 0

W: Candelaria (6-4)
L: Dixon (2-2)
MVP: Candelaria

The "Candyman" could, as John Candelaria overpowers Houston hitters in a CG win. Dave Parker continues in his bid for league MVP, driving in three runs and even stealing his seventh base. Parker flirts with .400 during the series but is now at .394 on the year.

Game 2: HOU 4, PIT 2

W: Bannister (3-2)
L: Bibby (4-2)
S: J. Niekro (1)
MVP: Sexton
SS Jimmy Sexton finally hits one out.

An improbable Astros win. The struggling youngster Floyd Bannister gets the win despite only going 5.2 innings, but Joe Niekro had his knuckler a'flutterin' as he shut down the Bucs the rest of the way. Just as improbably, normal Astros non-entities Jimmy Sexton (1) and Reggie Baldwin (2) both homer off loser Jim Bibby.

Game 3: HOU 2, PIT 1

W: Richard (6-3)
L: Robinson (6-6)
MVP: Richard

J.R. Richard is the man, striking out six and only allowing two hits in a CG victory. Joe Ferguson's homer (8) and Joe Cruz's base running (he steals three to give him 15 on the year) are keys to victory, as Cruz scores the eventual game winner after swiping second and coming home on an Art Howe single in the sixth.

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