|Pittsburgh's Xavier Nady turns a Jason Jennings pitch into a solo home run, his second in two games against the Astros. (PAT SULLIVAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
X marks another victory by Pirates
Two games into the season, Xavier Nady has emerged as a nemesis for the Houston Astros. Not even he can explain how.
Nady singled home Jason Bay for the go-ahead run off Dan Wheeler and homered for the second straight night, leading visiting Pittsburgh to a 3-2 win last night.
In Monday's opener, Nady hit the tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning off closer Brad Lidge as the Pirates won, 4-2, in 10 innings.
"It's just one of those things," said Nady, who has knocked in a run with each of his three hits in the series. "It's still early and I'm just trying to give quality at-bats."
The Pirates started 0-6 last season and were 3-79 when trailing after seven innings. They've already won two such games this year and matched their best start since 2003, when they opened 4-0.
Pirates starter Ian Snell struck out a career-high 11, but didn't get a decision. He gave up Carlos Lee's RBI single in the sixth that gave Houston a 2-1 lead.
But the Astros' bullpen failed again. Wheeler (0-1) started the eighth and got Chris Duffy to pop out. Jack Wilson then beat out a bunt single and Bay walked before Adam LaRoche lined out. Ronny Paulino singled to left to score Wilson and tie the game, then Nady followed with an RBI single to right.
Houston starter Jason Jennings retired the first five Pirates he faced before Nady homered in his second consecutive at-bat in Houston, sending a 2-0 pitch onto the left-field porch.
Snell, 25, was almost untouchable through the first five innings, striking out 10 of the first 15 Astros he faced.
Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3 -- Troy Tulowitzki doubled in the tying run and scored the winner on third baseman Alberto Callaspo's error in the 11th inning, as Colorado rallied for a win over visiting Arizona.
Todd Helton and Matt Holliday led off the 11th with singles against Arizona closer Jose Valverde (0-1), but Brad Hawpe hit into a double play. Tulowitzki doubled in pinch runner Jamey Carroll to tie the score, then Callaspo couldn't handle Chris Iannetta's grounder.
The Diamondbacks took the lead in the top half. Byung-Hyun Kim got the first two outs, but walked Chris Snyder and hit Callaspo with a pitch, setting up Stephen Drew's single that just eluded Helton's glove at first base.
Twins 3, Orioles 2 -- Jason Bartlett's broken-bat single drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh as host Minnesota rallied to beat Baltimore.
Rondell White walked to start the seventh, and pinch runner Jason Tyner stole second after stumbling into the base to barely beat a bad throw by catcher Alberto Castillo. Tyner came home on Bartlett's blooper.
Angels 8, Rangers 3 -- Vladimir Guerrero hit a solo homer and a pair of RBI singles to lead Los Angeles over visiting Texas. Guerrero, who went 4 for 4 and was walked intentionally in the sixth inning, is hitting .442, with 21 home runs, 49 RBIs, and 49 runs in 56 career games against the Rangers.
Marlins 9, Nationals 3 -- Pitcher Scott Olsen had a double, a single, and an RBI, all while taking a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning to help visiting Florida improve to 2-0 for only the second time in its 15 seasons.
Mariners 8, Athletics 4 -- Richie Sexson hit his second homer in two games and Yuniesky Betancourt's tiebreaking, two-run shot off Kiko Calero in the seventh inning led Seattle over visiting Oakland.
Mets 4, Cardinals 1 -- Orlando Hernandez threw seven innings of five-hit ball and hit a two-run double that matched his career RBI output in visiting New York's victory.
Brewers 4, Dodgers 3 -- Kevin Mench hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Randy Wolf in the sixth inning, sending host Milwaukee to a victory over Los Angeles.