Pittsburgh Pirates Jameson Taillon threw a season-high eight innings but came away with a 3-1 loss to his hometown Houston Astros.
Taillon (3-3) allowed two runs on four hits in the eight innings and added eight strikeouts.
This is Taillon’s first loss since July 30, as he allowed four earned runs in 20 innings his past three starts, good for a 1.80 ERA.
The difference in this game was a 3-1 fifth-inning fastball Teoscar Hernandez hit into the left-field seats for his third home run of the season.
Hernandez’s homer also scored A.J. Reed, who led off the inning with a walk, the lone free pass Taillon surrendered.
Taillon followed this with a double to Jason Castro and a Jake Marisnick single before getting out of the inning by striking out mound opponent Doug Fister and inducing a double play out of George Springer.
This game was played in 2:17, and the pitcher’s duel between Taillon and Fister (12-8) was a big reason why.
Through three innings, Taillon had a perfect game and Fister a no-hitter.
With two outs in the fourth inning, both of these efforts were snapped. Jose Altuve singled on a 1-0 pitch for the Astros in the top half, and Gregory Polanco doubled on a 1-1 pitch in the bottom half.
Taillon was able to get 11 ground-ball outs, and Fister had seven to go with five fly-ball outs. Fister had a final game score of 80, while allowing three hits in seven innings. Taillon had a game score of 74.
Neftali Feliz was greeted in the ninth inning by a lead-off Alex Bregman home run. The solo home run was Bregman’s fourth this season.
Ken Giles came in for the save and opened the bottom of the ninth with two strikeouts. Polanco then hit his second double of the game and 29th of the season.
David Freese came up and hit an RBI single. The single included a throwing error but Freese made the final out trying to get into scoring position ending the game with Josh Bell on deck.
This loss puts the Pirates on a four-game losing streak.
Tuesday night will be the middle game of this three game series as Ivan Nova (9-6, 4.83 ERA) faces Joe Musgrove (1-1, 4.18 ERA). Nova is 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Astros.
Photo credit: @Pirates