Jeff Locke struck out eight batters in five innings but had a rough first inning which the Pirates could not recover from.
Garrett Jones hit his 24th home run and Starling Marte had two hits in a 7-1 loss in Houston.
The Pirates fell behind early once again as Jeff Locke gave up a three run home run to Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie. Pedro Alvarez struck out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, killing the Pirates only chance to get back in the game. James McDonald came in relief and gave up three more runs in the sixth inning.
The Astros added another run in the seventh and the Pirates scratched out their only run in the eighth inning on Jones’ home run.
The most disturbing fact from this game is the hat James McDonald has not looked like a pitcher who can even pitch at the major league level for some time now. McDonald gave up two hits, one hit batter, and one homerun as he did not record an out in his relief appearance.
The Pirates take on Houston in the second game of a three game series as Kevin Correia (11-9, 4.09) faces Dallas Keuchel (2-7, 4.97) at 7:05 ET at Minute Maid Park.