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Pirates walk off in comeback victory over Astros who, incidentally, are terrible


The Pirates used a two-run bomb by Pedro Alvarez to tie the game against the Astros in the late innings, then walked off in the ninth after the Astros committed two errors that were oh-so-very Astros.

Both teams scored in the first. Robbie Grossman led off with a double off Jeanmar Gomez, then came home on a sacrifice fly by Jason Castro. In the bottom of the inning, Andrew McCutchen tied the game with a solo homer.

The wheels came off for Gomez in the fifth. Matt Dominguez hit a solo homer, and then Gomez allowed two more batters to reach on a single and a walk. Jake Elmore brought in a run with a single to right, and then Grossman scored on an error by Clint Barmes, making it 4-1. After Castro walked, the Bucs replaced Gomez with Vin Mazzaro.

McCutchen reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the sixth, then came around on Garrett Jones' double. Unfortunately, Neil Walker then bunted for some reason -- with no outs, a man on second and the Pirates down two runs -- and Jones got thrown out at third. The Pirates didn't score any more that inning even though two more batters reached base.

In the eighth, Walker led off with a single, then came home on Alvarez's mammoth, game-tying shot into the river.

Now, at this point, I need to point out yet again that the Astros are bad. We, as Pirates fans, are uniquely suited to appreciate their incompetence, and we need to embrace it, and acknowledge it, and not worry so much about the pot calling the kettle black, as if these Pirates are incompetent (they're not) or we are the Pirates (we're not). The Astros stink. That is reality, and the sooner we accept it, the more we can enjoy it.

So, on to the ninth! The Astros are using a pitcher named Edgar Gonzalez, whose last 12 months ... I'm not going to look it up, but I think it's involved playing in, let's say, Oklahoma City, Buffalo, Quad Cities, Bozeman, Tijuana, Mozambique and Pyongyang. He's allowed 11 runs in 12.2 innings in the majors this season. There is no reason whatsoever to think he's any good at all. The Astros have him pitching the ninth in a tie game.

Starling Marte leads off with an excuse-me single to right. Travis Snider grounds into a force out. And then Andrew McCutchen singles to right. Whee! First and third, one out. Brandon Inge then hits a double play ball that should send the game to extra innings, but Gonzalez can't make the play. Snider doesn't advance, but everyone's safe on Gonzalez's error. Neil Walker then gets called out on strikes in a terrible at bat. And then ... Russell Martin reaches as Jimmy Paredes comes flying in from right field on a fly ball and runs into Elmore, who's camped under it. Paredes has had that happen before. And it's a walk-off, 5-4 win for the Pirates. As a Pirates fan, I thank you, Astros, and I hope my favorite team actually earns a victory tomorrow.