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Pirates

September 6, 2012

Correia, Bucs gain ground with win

PITTSBURGH — Kevin Correia pitched six solid innings as a fill-in starter and Alex Presley, a late addition to the lineup, had two hits and scored three runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Houston Astros 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Correia stepped into the Pirates’ rotation for right-hander Jeff Karstens, who injured his right hip Friday in a start at Milwaukee, and allowed just one run and four hits. Correia also walked one and struck out one.

Correia (10-8) pitched four scoreless innings of relief against the Brewers in the game in which Karstens was injured. Correia began the season in the starting rotation but was bumped to the bullpen when the Pirates acquired left-hander Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros in a trade on July 24.

Houston fell to 53 games under .500 at 42-95.

Presley replaced left fielder Jose Tabata, who bruised his left foot on Tuesday night when he fouled a pitch off it and still felt pain after taking batting practice before Wednesday’s game.

Pirates rookie Brock Holt had two RBIs one night after recording four hits in his fourth major league game and Gaby Sanchez had three hits for Pittsburgh, which pulled within 1.5 games of St. Louis in the race for the second National League wild-card spot.

Brandon Laird, yet another injury replacement, provided Houston’s highlight with his first major league home run, a two-run, two-out shot in the ninth inning off Jason Grilli.

In other news, Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker (lower back stiffness) missed his ninth straight game, is unlikely to return Friday night for the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs as originally hoped. RF Travis Snider (strained right hamstring) sat out after being injured running the bases Tuesday but hopes to play on Friday.

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