Pirates 5, Astros 1: Bucs Now At 45-41

PITTSBURGH - JULY 05: Jeff Karstens #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after laying down a successful sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during the game on July 5, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Jeff Karstens did it again, allowing only one run in seven innings, as the Bucs won 5-1, moving to 45-41 and yet again putting them one game back of the NL Central lead. They're currently tied with the Brewers for second place. (The Brewers are losing, too, and if things stand, the Pirates will be in second by themselves.)

Karstens' only run allowed came on a solo homer, making this a really typical Karstens start in many ways - he has 17 homers in 98.2 innings so far this year, but he still has that dinky ERA. He only has 18 walks allowed; he could finish the year with more homers than walks allowed, which would be really strange, but it's probably a recipe that can work - there never seems to be anyone on when balls leave the yard.

Brandon Wood homered and drove in three runs for the Pirates. Matt Diaz had three hits, and Neil Walker and Lyle Overbay continued their hot hitting with two hits apiece.

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