In his fourth start since joining the rotation, Gomez was unable to escape the fifth inning and allowed four earned runs to go with five hits and two walks. He struck out just one batter. After allowing a manufactured run in the first inning, Gomez was sailing along, having thrown only 36 pitches through four innings.
It all came apart in the fifth inning.
With one out, Houston’s Miguel Dominguez hit his third home run of the season, a blast that barely escaped the outstretched glove of left fielder Starling Marte.
The Astros would proceed to add two more runs before Gomez was pulled from the game by manager Clint Hurdle. The Pirates were able to keep the deficit at 4-1, but the damage had been done.
Gomez entered the game on a roll. He’d compiled a 1.93 ERA — 2.28 overall — in his first three starts after five strong innings against the New York Mets last Saturday. The 25-year-old had allowed just three earned runs total in his first three starts.
Gomez picked up his first win as a starter following five scoreless innings against the Seattle Mariners on May 7th. In four starts, Gomez has yet to pitch into the sixth inning, but looked to be on his way against Houston before his fifth inning collapse. The Pirates have been easing the former reliever into the rotation as Gomez has yet to crack the 80-pitch mark.
Being MLB’s worst team, the Astros surrendered the lead and lost the game, 5-4, on a dropped pop-up in the bottom of the ninth inning. Houston fell to 11-31 while Pittsburgh improved to 25-17.
Pittsburgh has now won eight of their last 11 games, including taking three of four from the Milwaukee Brewers this week. The Pirates entered the weekend series just 2.5 games behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals and one game behind the Cincinnati Reds.
Pittsburgh will look to takes the series tomorrow with A.J. Burnett (3-4) on the mound against Houston’s Erik Bedard (0-2).