Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Carlos Lee slugged a two-run shot as Houston hit a season-high four home runs en route to a 6-3 decision over Pittsburgh in the middle test of a three game set from Minute Maid Park.
Starter Brian Moehler exited after three innings with a strained right groin. He'd scattered three hits and struck out three with one walk.
Daniel McCutchen (1-4) surrendered four hits and four runs with three walks over five full frames in defeat, then was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis following the game.
After seeing the Pirates tie the score at 3-3 in the fourth, Houston responded with runs in each of the next three frames to take control once again.
Berkman began the run with a two-out solo shot for a 4-3 game, Pence started the sixth against D.J. Carrasco with a homer for a two-run edge and a passed ball with the bases loaded in the seventh put the Astros up 6-3.
Keppinger kicked off the Astros' night with a one-out blast in the first before Lee's two-run homer in the third sent the home team up 3-0.
Pittsburgh responded in the fourth off Gustavo Chacin on Ryan Doumit's run- scoring single and a two-run double from Church.
Houston improved to 5-0 over Pittsburgh this season...The Pirates have dropped 11 of their last 14 in southeast Texas...With the longball burst, the Astros passed the Pirates for fewest homers in the majors. Houston now has 54 homers and Pittsburgh has only 53.