Dario Agrazal stunned the Astros in Houston as the Pirates coasted to their most lopsided win of the season, 14-2.
Agrazal was punished for leaving a four-seamer down the middle on the Astros’ first swing of the game, but that George Springer dinger was the only time Houston touched home in his six innings of work. He allowed five hits and three walks, striking out three while inducing a pair of double plays.
Agrazal (1-0) was carried by his slider and sinker. Houston went 2-8 with a double against his sinking fastball and 1-6 on the breaking balls they put in play. He got four whiffs and six swinging strikes on 28 sliders, with a pair of those whiffs resulting in strikeouts.
Josh Bell got the Bucs going early, crushing a 3-2 pitch in the first for his 21st home run of the year, plating two. Bell finished 1-3 with two walks and three runs scored.
After scoring twice in the second, deuce was once again wild in the third when Corey Dickerson singled home a pair. Dickerson went 4-4 Wednesday with three doubles, the most impressive coming in the sixth, putting it in play off the bounce.
That third inning closed the book on Framber Valdez (3-4), who allowed a half dozen runs on eight hits.
Jung Ho Kang turned on a changeup in the sixth for a two run homer. The offense piled on in the ninth when the Astros opted to go to position player Tyler White over a reliever. Jose Osuna and Kevin Newman went deep as part of the six run inning.
Richard Rodriguez struck out two in the seventh, and Chris Stratton tossed the final two innings to close it out.
The Pirates will try to take the series Thursday at 2:10 p.m.. Joe Musgrove (5-7, 4.57) will make his first start against his former club, squaring off against Brad Peacock (6-5, 3.62).
1. Dickerson’s three doubles match a career high, set Aug. 26 in 2016, also in Houston.
2. Newman set a new career high with four hits Wednesday.
3. Agrazal got 20 pitches called a strike Wednesday. It’s only the sixth this season a Pirate pitcher accomplished that, according to Baseball Savant.