PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense had no answer for Houston Astros right-hander José Urquidy in their 7-0 loss on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park.
The Pirates first hit of the game didn’t come until Carlos Santana recorded a one-out double into right-center field with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Urquidy (1-0) blanked the Pirates (7-5) over his six innings on the mound while limiting the Bucs to just a pair of hits. Urquidy walked three, struck out a pair and threw 62 of his 93 pitches for strikes.
The only other hit against the Astros’ starter was a Jack Suwinski single in to begin the seventh inning. He was quickly erased after Mark Mathias bounced into a 5-4-3 double play one batter later.
Bryan Reynolds snapped an 0 for 10 streak for Pirates’ batters with a single with two outs in the eighth. Ji Hwan Bae drew a pair of walks and stole a base.
Rich Hill turned in his best start of the year with the Pirates. He held the Astros to two runs across six innings of work. He allowed seven batters to reach – five hits and a pair of walks. Hill (0-2) didn’t strike out a batter while 62 of his 95 pitches went for strikes.
One of those two runs was a solo shot off the bat of Corey Julks, who hit his first career home run to left field in the fourth inning to put the Astros up 1-0. Julks doubled in the eighth and finished the game 2 for 4 with a couple of runs scored.
Jose Abreu was responsible for the game’s first run with an RBI-double to the left-center gap in the third inning off of Hill.
The Astros (6-7) blew it open in the seventh inning when Alex Bregman hit a three-run homer to left field off of reliever Dauri Moreta. Bregman has homered in each of the last two games for Houston, his first two long balls of the season.
Houston added on an a couple insurance runs in the eighth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Yainer Diaz and one a few batters later from Kyle Tucker.
The Pirates were outhit by the Astros 12-3 in the loss.
The Pirates will embark on a seven-game road trip starting with a Thursday night matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Vince Velasquez (0-2, 9.82 ERA) will look to shake off a rough last start for Pittsburgh. The Cardinals will have left-hander LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-0, 2.25 ERA) on the mound. First pitch: 7:45 ET.