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MLB: Houston 3, Pittsburgh 2

HOUSTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Mark Saccomanno hit a home run on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues Monday to lead the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Alberto Arias (1-0), making a start in place of the injured Brandon Backe, pitched five scoreless innings while allowing two hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Saccomanno pinch-hit for Arias in the bottom of the fifth.

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The Astros won for the 11th time in their last 12 games.

After Saccomanno's solo shot broke a scoreless tie in the fifth, Michael Bourn and Darin Erstad hit back-to-back singles. Miguel Tejada and Lance Berkman drove them in off Ian Snell (6-11), who gave up the three runs on six hits and three walks, with nine strikeouts, in six innings.

Adam LaRoche and Brandon Moss had RBI singles for Pittsburgh.

Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his 41st save.

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