Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Jeff Karstens pitched eight shutout innings
and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros
with a 2-0 victory Thursday night.
Karstens (2-2) allowed four hits, walked one and had a season-high eight
strikeouts. The right-hander, who was making just his sixth start of 2012
due to being on the disabled list, retired the last eight hitters he faced.
Joel Hanrahan walked Jed Lowrie to start the ninth, but Scott Moore grounded
into a double play. After J.D. Martinez walked and went to third on a wild
pitch, Hanrahan retired Chris Johnson on a fly ball to right to nail down his
22nd save of the season.
Casey McGehee doubled in a run in the second inning. Karstens singled to start
the third and scored on a Garrett Jones sacrifice fly, as the NL Central
leaders posted their eighth victory in nine contests. The Bucs, who are 10
games over .500 (46-36), posted their first four-game sweep of the Astros in
Pittsburgh since July 19-21, 1979 at Three Rivers Stadium.
They also sent the Astros to their eighth loss in a row overall and 10th
straight on the road. It's Houston's first 10-game skid on the road since
an 11-game skid, April 16-May 8, 2005.
Bud Norris (5-6) gave up five hits and the two runs over seven innings. He
also had six strikeouts, but dropped his fifth consecutive start.
The Sports Network