Today’s home opener proved to be a great day at PNC Park. There were plenty of pregame festivities as Nate McLouth was presented with his Gold Glove Award and Steve Blass was recognized for being a part of the Pirates for 50 seasons, and the Pirates wore special caps to honor and remember the Pittsburgh police officers who were killed last week.

For his second straight start this season, Zach Duke was effective on the mound. Today, he threw a complete game shutout and the Pirates beat the Houston Astros 7-0. The Astros appear to be a very bad team. They’re 1-6, and they’ve scored just 16 runs. Even the 0-7 Nationals have put 34 on the scoreboard. This would be a nice time to record a three game sweep.

Every Pirate in the batting order recorded a hit today. Ramon Vazquez started at 3rd base again, in place of Andy LaRoche. I think this series against the Astros would be an appropriate time to get LaRoche back into the lineup and hopefully get into a solid rhythm. Freddy Sanchez had a great game today, going 3-5 with three doubles. Adam LaRoche and Ryan Doumit added homers.

The Bucs get the day off tomorrow before a 7:05 P.M. game on Wednesday. Mike Hampton @ Ross Ohlendorf.



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