It’s on me, Hurdle says


HOUSTON — Manager Clint Hurdle was ejected in the second inning last night, when the game was tied 1-1. After the 4-1 loss to the Astros, I jokingly asked Hurdle if the defeat goes on the record of bench coach Jeff Banister, who filled in after Hurdle was tossed. “It goes on mine,” Hurdle said. “They all go on mine, and that’s the accountability I’ve got to carry with this. We’re just not finishing plays. We didn’t finish a play tonight and it cost us. There wasn’t a whole lot to try to develop (offensively). We’re just in that hard place right now where we’ve really got to try to keep things simple. It’s almost like Little League — hit the ball hard where it’s pitched, don’t try to do things that aren’t there. Defensively, we continue to make errors. The one (by SS Clint Barmes) complicated things dramatically. But there also were a couple of throws from center field, plays you need to make, you need to stop the ball. We’re not crisp, we’re not performing at the execution level we need to, and that’s on me. All of it falls back on the manager. I’ve got to find a way to get us performing better.”

Game 152: Pirates @ Astros, 2:05 p.m. ET

Pirates (74-77): 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Josh Harrison 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones 1b , 5. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 6. Travis Snider rf, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Rod Barajas c, 9. A.J. Burnett rhp (15-8, 3.64)

Astros (50-102): 1. Jose Altuve 2b, 2. Scott Moore rf, 3. Brett Wallace 1b, 4. Fernando Martinez lf, 5. Matt Dominguez 3b, 6. Tyler Greene ss, 7. Chris Snyder c, 8. Brandon Barnes cf, 9. Jordan Lyles rhp (4-11, 5.40)