The Pirates suffered their third straight one-run loss to the Astros by a 3-2 count. The loss left them with a six-game losing streak and a 4-10 record on the season.
John Candelaria gave the Pirates a good start, going seven and a third innings while allowing six hits and two walks. Houston got to him in the first for a run on a leadoff triple and a sacrifice fly. He allowed only two more baserunners over the next four innings.
The Pirates tied it in the fourth against Joe Niekro when Phil Garner led off with a double and eventually scored on a passed ball. Houston took the lead back in the sixth on two-out, back-to-back doubles by Cesar Cedeno and Bob Watson. The Pirates, though, tied it again in the top of the seventh when Willie Stargell and John Milner led off the inning with doubles.
For the third straight game, the deciding run was unearned. After a one-out double by Craig Reynolds, an error by Tim Foli made the score 3-2. The Pirates had a shot in the ninth when Pops hit a one-out double, but Joe Sambito retired Lee Lacy and Rennie Stennett to end the game.
The Pirates had only four hits on the day. Foli, off to a rough start with his new team, went hitless for the third straight game. With an off-day following, the Pirates headed for Cincinnati to try to break out of their slump.