PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 4: Brock Holt #2 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates after scoring on an RBI single in the third inning against the Houston Astros during the game on September 4, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
The Pirates breezed to a 6-2 win against the Astros Tuesday night thanks to four-hit performances from Brock Holt and Andrew McCutchen and seven shutout innings by Wandy Rodriguez. After a rain delay, a tiny, and presumably mostly-inebriated, crowd screamed "Woooo!" throughout, creating a whimsical soundtrack to what turned out to be an easy game.
The Pirates got one in the first. Holt singled, Travis Snider replaced him on the bases after a force out at second, and McCutchen smacked a double down the left-field line. In the third, Holt singled again. Jose Tabata walked, and McCutchen hit an RBI single to center. Garrett Jones then hit a hard grounder that shortstop Tyler Greene couldn't field, bringing home Tabata and putting the Pirates up 3-0.
In the fifth, Holt doubled to right with one out, then came home when McCutchen hit a hard line drive that bounced off the glove of third baseman Brandon Laird. Then Jones walked, and he and McCutchen moved up on a wild pitch. Pedro Alvarez came up with two outs and two on, and hit a fly ball to shortstop. Greene and Laird couldn't decide who would field it. It bounced out of Greene's glove in an embarrassing development for the Astros, and both runners came home.
That was all the Pirates would need, as Rodriguez cruised through seven innings, striking out seven and walking one. The Astros got two runs off Chris Resop in the eighth, but the game never felt close.
That's how you beat up on a bad team. Holt and McCutchen were a machine, with Holt continually reaching base and McCutchen finding ways to drive him in. Rodriguez cruised against his former team's lackluster lineup. And if that weren't enough, the Astros gift-wrapped two runs, which the Pirates happily took.
The Bucs managed an easy win from a terrible divisional opponent, providing fresh wood for their playoff fire. And McCutchen had a huge game, suggesting that his bat might come alive yet again. The Pirates get to play the Astros yet again tomorrow. In a word: Wooooo!!!!