Astros hit four home runs to rally past Pirates in exhibition game | TribLIVE.com
Pirates/MLB

Astros hit four home runs to rally past Pirates in exhibition game

Kevin Gorman
934687_web1_GTR-CervelliKO-021319
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli celebrates his two-run homer during the third inning against the Cubs Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at PNC Park.

The Pittsburgh Pirates blew a pair of leads as they surrendered four home runs, including a pair of three-run shots, in a 12-9 exhibition loss to the Houston Astros on Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

The Pirates got off to a hot start against Houston’s Forrest Whitley in the first inning. Adam Frazier hit a leadoff single to right field, advanced to third on Starling Marte’s double to deep right and scored on an error in center by Kemp for a 1-0 lead. Francisco Cervelli crushed a home run 405 feet to left to drive in Josh Bell to make it 3-0.

The Astros turned that into a 7-3 lead with a seven-run third inning, when Keone Kela gave up four runs on a single and three walks and Geoff Hartlieb surrendered a 382-foot, three-run homer to left field by designated hitter Tyler White.

But the Pirates answered with a five-run sixth off Framber Valdez, thanks to Melky Cabrera’s RBI single, Frazier’s two-run double, a sacrifice fly by Marte and an RBI single by Corey Dickerson to make it 8-7. Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall was removed after being hit by a Valdez pitch in the right hand and was replaced by Bryan Reynolds.

After Tony Kemp doubled to left and Jake Marisnick walked, Nick Tanielu hit a three-run homer, a 394-foot shot to left field off Alex McRae for a 10-8 lead in the sixth inning. Garrett Stubbs and Myles Straw hit back-to-back homers off McRae in the seventh to make it 12-8.

Kevin Newman hit a leadoff triple in the eighth and scored on a Pablo Reyes sacrifice fly to right to cut it to 12-9. J.B. Shuck followed with a double and Patrick Kivlehan with a single to left-center, but Shuck was thrown out at home.

Brandon Maurer is expected to start for the Pirates against right-hander J.B. Bukauskas when the Pirates play the Astros at 2:10 p.m. Tuesday in the final exhibition game. Tyler Lyons and Eduardo Vera also are expected to pitch for the Pirates.

Love baseball? Stay up-to-date with the latest Pittsburgh Pirates news.

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.