PITTSBURGH — Roansy Contreras struggled throughout his outing against the Houston Astros as the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated 8-2 at PNC Park on Monday night.
Contreras’ struggles were apparent from the beginning, especially with his command. Contreras (1-1) issued four free passes while only 44 of his 83 pitches went for strikes. He was tagged for seven earned runs on nine hits with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
Kyle Tucker got things going for Houston against the Pirates’ right-hander with an RBI-single in the first. Contreras escaped further damage when Yordan Alvarez was thrown out attempting to advance to third.
The Astros (5-6) scored three in the following inning — one on a Mauricio Dubón single to left and two more on an Alvarez double.
In the third, Martin Maldonado singled home a run before Tucker drove in two more with a single of his own to put Houston up 7-1. The Tucker blow ended Contreras’ night.
Ji-Man Choi connected on his first home run with the Pirates (6-4) in the second inning to snap an 0 for 14 skid. His 407-foot blast into the bullpen in left-center off of Framber Valdez was his fifth career homer off of a left-handed pitcher and his first as a lefty batter since 2019.
Rodolfo Castro, who got the first crack at shortstop in place of Oneil Cruz, singled home Carlos Santana in the fourth. Castro was on base three times as he drew a walk and was also hit by a pitch in addition to his run-scoring single. He was also charged with an error in the field.
Alex Bregman cushioned the Astros’ lead to 8-2 with an RBI-single in the seventh off of left-hander Jose Hernandez.
The Pirates were out-hit by the Astros 13-3 in the loss.
Andrew McCutchen drew a walk to leadoff the bottom of the sixth. He’s now reached base in all eight of his starts to begin the season. Bryan Reynolds, who was named the National League Player of the Week, saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end.
The middle game of this three-game set at PNC Park will continue on Tuesday night. Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.86 ERA) will look to build off his last start in Boston. Right-hander Cristian Javier (1-0, 3.27 ERA) will get the ball for the Astros. First pitch: 6:35