Jose Cisnero out-pitches Pirates bullpen in 11-inning Bucs loss

Justin K. Aller

The Astros beat the Pirates 4-2 in 11 innings Saturday night thanks to a heroic relief outing by Jose Cisnero.

Despite walking four, A.J. Burnett pitched seven strong innings and left with a 2-1 lead, even though third baseman Matt Dominguez cut the Pirates' best opportunity short when he gunned down Jose Tabata at home in the sixth. Burnett struck out seven.

But in the eighth, Mark Melancon allowed ground ball singles to Trevor Crowe and Jose Altuve, and Chris Carter singled to left to tie the game.

"I saw a guy that gave up a run on two three-hop ground balls and a broken-bat single to left," Clint Hurdle said. "Sometimes you make pitches and you don't get right results."

Meanwhile, Cisnero entered and was terrific, striking out five batters over 3.2 scoreless innings.

"Anytime you get that push from one guy out of your bullpen, he probably should have got the win and the save," Hurdle said.

Cisnero's effort bought the Astros time, and after scoreless innings by Jason Grilli in the ninth and Bryan Morris in the 10th, they got to Morris in the 11th. Jason Castro led off with a double, and after Chris Carter popped out, Morris intentionally walked Carlos Pena. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Matt Dominguez then grounded to second, and Neil Walker threw home. It was a close play, but it looked like Castro did get his foot across before Russell Martin's tag, and Castro was called safe. Hurdle argued on the play and was ejected.

"The ump made the right call. He made a good call," Hurdle said after watching video of the play.

The Astros added an insurance run later in the inning on J.D. Martinez's RBI single.

David Manel contributed to this post.

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