HOUSTON – Josh Bell homered for the second straight game as one of five home runs by Pittsburgh as the Pirates routed the Houston Astros for the second game in a row with a 10-0 win on Thursday.
Former Astro Joe Musgrove (6-7) threw six scoreless innings for the win and Kevin Newman, Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte and Jacob Stallings added home runs for the Pirates to send Houston to its ninth loss in 11 games.
The Pirates picked up where they left off in Wednesday night's 14-2 rout of Houston when Newman sent Brad Peacock's first pitch of the game into the seats in left field for his first career leadoff homer. He has a career-long 17-game hitting streak, which is the longest active streak in the majors.
Houston starter Brad Peacock (6-6) allowed six runs in three innings, a game after Framber Valdez also made an early exit after the Pirates jumped on him for six runs through the first three.
There were two outs in the first inning when an RBI double by Colin Moran made it 2-0. Pittsburgh extended the lead to 4-0 when Dickerson, who tied a career high with four hits on Wednesday, homered to left field.
Marte started the third with a bunt single before Bell launched his 22nd homer onto the concourse in left-center to make it 6-0.
Marte opened the fifth inning with a home run off Cy Sneed, who was making his major league debut, and Stallings collected his first career home run when he added a solo shot with one out in the sixth.
Musgrove, traded to the Pirates in the deal that brought Gerrit Cole to Houston, picked up the win for the Astros in relief in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series. He allowed nine hits in his first meeting with his former team, but they were all singles to allow him to keep Houston off the board.
The Astros remain firmly in first place in the AL West, but are in the midst of a tough stretch where their pitching outside of Justin Verlander and Cole has struggled. Houston went 1-6 on a road trip against Cincinnati and the New York Yankees, before losing two of three in this series.
Jacob Stallings added an RBI single for Pittsburgh in the eighth and Newman made it 10-0 with a run-scoring double.
Sneed allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings to save Houston's taxed bullpen after being called up from Triple-A Round Rock before the game.
Astros: LF Yordan Alvarez left the game after the third inning because of discomfort in his left knee. ... RHP Joe Smith (Achilles tendon) will pitch at Round Rock on Friday as he continues a rehabilitation assignment.
Pirates: RHP Chris Archer (3-6, 5.56 ERA) will start for Pittsburgh in the opener of a three-game series at Milwaukee on Friday night. Archer allowed just two hits and one run in five innings in his previous game against San Diego but did not factor in the decision.
Astros: LHP Wade Miley (6-4, 3.51) is scheduled to start for Houston to start a series against Seattle on Friday night. Miley allowed four runs in five innings in a loss to the Yankees in his previous start.