BASEBALL, 4:05 p.m. PT
At PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Astros -115 at Pirates (9½)
Houston righted the ship somewhat last night, ending a five-game losing streak with a victory against the Pirates. Prior to the slide, the Astros had won 14 of their last 15 games to pull within 2½ of the Wild Card lead. Now Houston is 4½ out with nine games left and basically needs to win them all.
No time like the present against untested Jimmy Barthmaier, who lost his only outing and saw his ERA balloon to 27. That’s somewhere on Saturn. Making Barthmaier just a slight underdog boggles the mind. Houston righty Brian Moehler, who you may know from his salad days with the Detroit Tigers, is not flashy but steady as his 11-7, 4.33 ERA will attest. The Astros have been in a hitting slump, but should come out of it here. Moehler is 2-0 this season against the Pirates, who have now lost five straight to the Astros. HOUSTON.