turns into a home run hitter every time he comes to Houston.
Wilson hit a two-run drive and finished with three RBIs, helping the
beat the Astros 6-3 on Tuesday night.
Accustomed to playing at PNC Park, which he called ''the biggest baseball field ever,'' Wilson said he adopts a different
approach at Minute Maid Park with its short left field porch.
''You notice right away in (batting practice) that it doesn't take a whole lot to get it out of here,'' said Wilson, who has
hit 10 of his 60 career homers in Houston. ''If the pitcher throws it inside, you know you can get under it a little. You
just play to the elements.''
Wilson singled in a run in Pittsburgh's four-run seventh and
pitched six solid innings for the Pirates, who ended a three-game skid.
each drove in a run for Houston, which finished with 10 hits.
went 3 for 4 and All-Star shortstop
had two hits.
Berkman also committed a key error in Pittsburgh's big seventh inning. The Pirates loaded the bases with one out on three
consecutive walks before
hit a grounder to first.
Berkman tried to go home but Rodriguez couldn't handle his one-hop throw, allowing
''Defensively we stunk,'' Berkman said. ''The biggest blunder was that bad throw.''
felt his team let this one slip away.
''We got to make a play on the ground ball and we might be out of that whole deal right there,'' he said. ''It's kind of a
tough inning for us. A four-pitch walk and an errant throw. If it wasn't for that, we'd probably win that game.''
and Wilson followed Berkman's blunder with RBI singles to give the Pirates a 6-2 lead.
That was enough for Maholm (6-4), who allowed two runs and six hits. The left-hander was coming off a poor start against the
New York Mets
, when he gave up six runs and 11 hits over 4 1-3 innings.
''I made it through the first two times of the lineup without really having to use a breaking ball,'' he said. ''The sinker
and the changeup were getting a lot of grounders and if I was missing, I was just missing off the plate or down. Staying away
from the middle of the plate was the biggest thing.''
replaced Maholm and was charged with a run while recording just one out.
allowed three hits in 1 2-3 scoreless innings before
pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save.
Wilson drove in McCutchen with a two-out drive in the third but Houston rallied. Berkman had a run-scoring groundout in the
bottom half and scored on All-Star
's base hit in the sixth.
(5-5) retired the next 11 batters after Wilson's homer and was replaced by
after he issued consecutive walks with one out in the seventh. He allowed three hits and four runs.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but
grounded into a double play.
NOTES: Pittsburgh 2B
missed his fifth consecutive start with back spasms and manager
said they hope to have the All-Star back in the lineup by Friday. Russell said Sanchez is feeling better and took some light
swings. ... Pirates C
, on the disabled list with a wrist injury, is 0 for 12 in four rehabilitation games in the minors after going 0 for 3 and
catching seven innings on Monday for Triple-A Indianapolis.