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Norris' 14 K's Help Lead To 3-2 'Stros W Over Pirates

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Hunter Pence went 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and two RBI, including a go-ahead two-bagger in the seventh inning to lift the Astros to a 3-2 win over the Pirates.

Pence's hit in the seventh put Bud Norris (5-7) in the win column after the right-hander finished with a Minute Maid Park-record 14 strikeouts and allowed two runs on five hits in his seven-inning start.

Paul Maholm (7-11) was on the opposite end of the decision, yielding three runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 frames for Pittsburgh, which has lost six straight.

Andrew McCutchen tripled to the right-field gap leading off the game and trotted home when Garrett Jones took Norris deep over the wall in right for his 17th home run of the season.

That was the only offense the Pirates mustered, and Pence started chipping away at the deficit with a leadoff homer in the fourth.

Maholm stranded two runners in scoring position in the sixth but couldn't get out of a jam in the seventh.Humberto Quintero led off the frame with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored the tying run on Angel Sanchez's single to right.

Pence then lined a double off the wall in left-center, scoring Sanchez easily for the eventual game-winning tally.

Wilton Lopez threw a perfect eighth, and Brandon Lyon survived Jeff Clement's one-out single in the ninth to nail down his fourth save of the season and second straight to start this three-game set.

The Astros lead the season series, 9-2...Norris' previous career-high in strikeouts was 10, set in five innings against Tampa Bay on May 23...The Pirates have lost nine straight on the road and eight in a row at Minute Maid Park...Houston had lost six of seven coming into the series...Of Pittsburgh's 27 outs, 17 came via strikeout...Lastings Milledge grounded out as a pinch- hitter to end the game, snapping a 10-game hit streak.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.