It seems to be a favorite pastime for Pirates pitchers to struggle in the first inning. A.J. Burnett allowed two hits, a single and a book rule double to Jed Lowrie and Carlos Lee, but he was able to get out of the jam with a Scott Moore groundout. However, Burnett’s second time out didn’t come as easily. After loading the bases with Brian Bogusevic (single), Chris Snyder (walk), and Lucas Harrell (single), Bogusevic was driven in on a single by Jordan Schafer and Snyder on a sacrifice fly by All-Star Jose Altuve.
Unfortunately, those two runs weren’t the only runs Burnett allowed. In the third, Carlos Lee doubled to right, and then Scott Moore took a page from the Pirates’ book and hit another double to right, driving in El Caballo.
The very next time up, the Astros again capitalized on Burnett’s misfortunes. Jose Altuve doubled to right field and was driven in by Jed Lowrie in the very next at-bat.
Lucas Harrell was looking incredible through three innings, allowing just one hit, a McCutchen single, and striking out seven batters. Drew Sutton led off the fourth inning with a groundball single up the middle. Andrew McCuchen then crushed an opposite field home run to halve the deficit the Pirates faced.
In the sixth inning, Burnett allowed his final run. Chris Snyder doubled to just left of the North Side notch and advanced to third on a Lucas Harrell single. Jordan Schafer, who had two ribbies in the game, singled in Snyder. Hurdle had enough and brought in reliever Chris Resop. Resop allowed another Burnett earned run when Jed Lowrie hit a fly ball to right.
Though two Astros crossed the plate in the top half of the inning, the Pirates’ offense was able to reverse the damage. After hitting a single to center, Garrett Jones moved into scoring position on a single by Neil Walker. Casey McGehee hit a single to left to drive in Jones. After Barajas struck out, Fernando Rodriguez threw a wild pitch, moving both runners into scoring position. Pinch-hitter Pedro Alvarez singled up the middle, driving in both McGehee and Walker.
Later in the seventh, Andrew McCutchen hit a Pirates trademark infield single, beating out a groundball to the shortstop. Garrett Jones absolutely annihilated a home run over the back fence of the Clemente wall to give the Bucs a 7-6 lead.
When it looked like the game was about to be closed by Joel Hanrahan, Hammer walked Jed Lowrie. After striking out Carlos Lee to record the second out in the ninth, Jason Castro hit a double to the only part of the field where Lowrie could score from first: down the right field line to Drew Sutton, who made a pretty bad play on the ball. The game was tied going to the ninth inning.
Luckily in the bottom of the ninth inning, Drew Sutton redeemed himself. After Gorkys Hernandez struck out to complete his 0-for-four day, Drew Sutton hit a walk-off home run just past the eight-foot high center field wall to put the Bucs in first place.