Jason Castro led off the 11th inning with a double and scored the go-ahead run on a close play at the plate as the Houston Astros topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Saturday night.
Castro doubled off the top of the center-field fence against Bryan Morris (1-2), and Carlos Pena was intentionally walked one out later. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and Castro scored when he beat second baseman Neil Walker’s throw home on Matt Dominguez’s fielder’s choice grounder.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle argued the call with plate umpire C.B. Bucknor and was ejected. Pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2. Rookie Jose Cisnero struck out five in 3 2/3 scoreless relief innings for his first major league win. Jose Veras pitched a scoreless 11th for his sixth save.
The Astros activated second baseman Jose Altuve from the bereavement list Saturday after he missed the previous three games while attending his grandmother’s funeral in Venezuela.
Altuve was in the lineup batting third against the Pirates. He is hitting .333 in 38 games with two home runs and 18 RBIs.
“It was a tough time but it’s good to be back with my teammates,” Altuve said.
Infielder Jake Elmore was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He started all three games at second base in Altuve’s absence, going 4 for 11 with one double and one RBI.
The New York Yankees acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Colorado Rockies for cash, adding a lefty bat to the group of backups filling in for the team’s injured stars.
“He played shortstop, second, third. A flyball hitter, so we’re going to see if we can take advantage of the left-handed bat at Yankee Stadium. He’s a very good fielder, more so than a bat,” general manager Brian Casahman said. “Gives us a little bit better of a platoon situation because all the left side of infield bats are right handed. Simple as that.”
New York designated shortstop Alberto Gonzalez for assignment on Saturday.