7:05 PM ET, July 20, 2007
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
• Summary: Although he left the game with an apparent chest injury, Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt pitched six innings, allowing a run and five hits. He earned his first road-game win since May 7 and improved to 3-5 on the road this season. Carlos Lee sparked Houston's offense with a two-run homer in the first inning to help Oswalt's cause.
• Falling fast: The Pirates are 0-7, and 0-4 at home, since winning nine of 13 before the All-Star break. Worse yet, the Pirates are now in sole possession of last place in the NL Central.
• Close save: Astros closer Brad Lidge had to work hard for the save tonight. First, he loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. He struck out the Pirates' Matt Kata and Freddy Sanchez then struck out on a pitch that bounced in the dirt and off home plate umpire Joe West's chest protector. That prevented the ball from possibly going to the backstop and allowed catcher Brad Ausmus to tag the plate with the ball in his bare hand, forcing out pinch-runner Rajai Davis to end the game.
• Figure this: Houston won for the second time in seven games since the All-Star break. Additionally, Houston beat Pittsburgh for the first time in seven games this year.
• Quotable: "It hit off [umpire] Joe [West] -- I think it hit him square in the chest -- and it went over my left shoulder. I don't panic a lot, but that was panic right there." -- Ausmus, on the game's final play
-- ESPN.com news services
Astros 2, Pirates 1
The Pirates' losing streak is their longest since they dropped eight in a row last Sept. 21-29. ... Oswalt won on the road for the first time in five decisions since May 7 in Cincinnati. He pitched for the third time in seven days, including a three-pitch relief outing Tuesday against Washington. ... Oswalt is 11-5 against the Pirates and hasn't lost to them in seven starts since April 25, 2005. ... Of Ryan's 324 victories, 106 were with Houston. ... The Pirates were in last place nearly all of last season before finishing fifth. ... Bay is 1-for-16 against Wheeler.
Regular Season Series
|Pittsburgh leads 10-5 (as of Fri 7/20)|
|Mon 4/2||PIT 4, @HOU 2||Recap|
|Tue 4/3||PIT 3, @HOU 2||Recap|
|Wed 4/4||PIT 5, @HOU 4||Recap|
|Tue 4/24||@PIT 3, HOU 0||Recap|
|Wed 4/25||@PIT 4, HOU 3||Recap|
|Thu 4/26||@PIT 5, HOU 3||Recap|
|» Fri 7/20||HOU 2, @PIT 1||Box Score|
|Sat 7/21||@PIT 7, HOU 3||Recap|
|Sun 7/22||HOU 1, @PIT 0||Recap|
|Fri 8/24||PIT 8, @HOU 3||Recap|
|Sat 8/25||PIT 4, @HOU 1||Recap|
|Sun 8/26||@HOU 5, PIT 4|
|Fri 9/14||PIT 4, @HOU 3||Recap|
|Sat 9/15||@HOU 9, PIT 7||Recap|
|Sun 9/16||@HOU 15, PIT 3||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Astros | Pirates|
|1st||C Lee homered to left, C Burke scored.||2||0|
|4th||J Bay singled to left, F Sanchez scored.||2||1|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA|
|Attendance||33,541 (87.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||72 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor|