HOUSTON (AP) -Three days after they were swept by Colorado, the
feel much better after doing the same to Houston.
hit a two-run homer and Pittsburgh earned its first road sweep this season with an 8-7 win over the Astros on Wednesday.
drove in two runs, starter
had an RBI single and
(4-3) pitched two innings of scoreless relief as Pittsburgh finished off its first sweep since taking three from San Francisco
at PNC Park from May 6-8.
''As bad as we played in Colorado, to turn around and do this three days in a row was important,'' said Mientkiewicz, who
had four hits. ''We needed these three bad.''
shut out the Astros in the ninth for his fifth save in seven chances.
The Pirates have won three straight road games for the first time this season and have their first three-game victory streak
since taking six straight from May 6-12.
After getting outscored 28-9 over four games in Denver, the Pirates outscored the Astros 25-12 in three games at Minute Maid
''To do that here, especially coming from Colorado, was a big boost for us,'' said Pittsburgh manager
Kaz Matsui hit a solo homer and
added a two-run single for the Astros, who've lost four in a row and dropped into last place in the NL Central.
On Tuesday, the Astros traded for left-hander
and general manager Ed Wade said the move was an indication that the team's brass hasn't given up on the season. After Wednesday's
loss, the players were conceding how much ground they have to make up.
''What can you say when you just got swept by the Pirates when you're trying to get back to respectability?'' said first baseman
. ''Right now, we have all the earmarks of being a bad team. That's not saying we can't come out of it. All you can say now
is we're bad.''
The Astros came into this series after taking two of three from the first-place Cubs.
''I'm very disappointed,'' said catcher
. ''We go against the Cubs and win two of three and then get swept by the Pirates. I feel like we made two steps forward and
six steps back. No one in this locker room is happy with what we're going right now.''
(2-2) allowed two runs in the seventh, the first runs he allowed in nine appearances covering 14 2-3 innings this month.
led off the game with a single off
, went to third on
's single and scored on
's sacrifice fly. Bay then hit a two-run homer to make it 3-0, giving him 13 RBIs in his last nine games.
singled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. After Mientkiewicz singled, Snell blooped a hit into right field for his
first RBI of the season and a 4-0 lead.
Snell faced trouble in the bottom of the first, giving up a single to
between walks to Matsui and Berkman. Loretta scored two with a line-drive single to left and Berkman came home on
Snell's run-scoring hit was no consolation for the way he pitched.
''It was a bad game, everybody knows it,'' he said. ''I let the game speed up on me. I wasn't really focused. I was just out
there trying to throw the ball wherever.''
Berkman mishandled McLouth's bouncer leading off the second inning, uncharacteristic for a team that came into the game with
the fewest errors in the NL (48). McLouth scored on Sanchez's double, his seventh RBI of the series.
With two outs in the Houston second, Matsui drove an 0-1 pitch into the right-field seats, his second homer of the season.
Back-to-back doubles by
and Mientkiewicz in the third gave the Pirates a 6-4 lead. Mientkiewicz's double was Pittsburgh's ninth hit, the most Moehler
had allowed in 14 starts this season.
The Astros got consecutive doubles by
in the third to trim the deficit to 6-5.
T.J. Beam relieved Snell for the Houston fourth. Matsui singled, stole second and scored on Berkman's single to tie the game.
Geary retired the side in the sixth, but the Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and Mientkiewicz cracked
an RBI single to right.
Pittsburgh added another run when
grounded into a fielder's choice. Michaels pinch-hit for Osoria, who retired the six batters he faced in the fifth and sixth.
relieved for Pittsburgh in the seventh and gave up singles to
and Loretta. Pence grounded into a double play, but pinch hitter
followed with an RBI single to make it 8-7.
Notes: Bay has 138 homers for the Pirates, tied with
for eighth in team history. ... Astros RHP
threw a short bullpen session before the game. Oswalt has been on the disabled list since July 19 with a strained left hip.
He will throw another bullpen on Friday and is slated to start against Cincinnati on Monday. ... The Astros optioned RHP
to Triple-A Round Rock and activated LHP
, who was acquired in a trade with San Diego on Tuesday.