PITTSBURGH -- Jason Castro is certainly not the typical cleanup hitter. The Houston Astros catcher entered Saturday night's game with just three home runs and 10 RBI to go with a .237 batting average.
However, Castro came up with the big hit in the 11th inning -- a leadoff double off the top of the center-field fence -- then scored the winning run as the Astros beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2.
With the score tied 2-2, Castro hit his double off Bryan Morris (1-2). After Chris Carter, who tied the game in the eighth with a single, popped out, the Pirates intentionally walked Carlos Pena but Morris ruined the strategy by throwing a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move to second and third.
Matt Dominguez then hit a ground ball to second baseman Neil Walker but his throw was a tick too late as Castro slid home with the go-ahead run. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle was ejected by home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor for arguing the call.
Pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez singled in an insurance run as the Astros (12-31) won for the second time in three games following a six-game losing streak.
Despite playing with a partially dislocated jaw and a heavy heart, Jose Altuve had three hits for Houston. He missed the previous three games while on the bereavement list following the death of his grandmother in Venezuela.
Castro and Carter both had two hits. Castro had been 2-for-22 in his previous seven games and Carter was 2-for-22 in the last six games.
Carter's game-tying single ended Mark Melancon's streak of 13 consecutive scoreless relief appearances that covered 13 innings.
Jose Cisnero (1-0) notched his first major-league win by striking out five in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Jose Veras pitched the 11th for his sixth save.
Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and Brandon Inge also had two hits for the Pirates, who lost for just the second time in the last nine games.
Both starters pitched well but did not figure in the decision.
Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett allowed one run and five hits in seven innings and raised his National League-leading strikeout total to 79 with seven while Houston left-hander Erik Bedard -- the Pirates' opening day starter last season -- gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.
The Pirates had a chance to break the game open in the sixth but settled for one run and a 2-1 lead on Inge's single.
Jose Tabata led off with a bunt single and went to third on McCutchen's double but Gaby Sanchez popped out and Tabata was thrown out at home trying to score on Russell Martin's grounder. Inge then singled to left.
Houston tied the score at 1-1 in the fifth when Altuve hit a two-out single off the body of diving third baseman Inge that scored Marwin Gonzalez, who led off the inning with an infield single.
Pittsburgh scored a run in the first inning on consecutive two-out doubles by McCutchen and Sanchez.
NOTES: Houston OF Brandon Barnes was not put into Friday night's 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh for defensive purposes because he was unable to play. Barnes, considered the Astros' best defensive outfielder, suffered a sprained right ankle in Wednesday's win at Detroit. With Barnes unavailable, Jimmy Paredes was playing right field and made an error in the ninth inning that resulted in the winning run scoring when he dropped Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin's two-out fly ball with the bases loaded after colliding with 2B Jake Elmore. ... Houston 2B Altuve was activated from the bereavement list after missing three games and Elmore was optioned to Class AAA Oklahoma City. ... Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens (right shoulder inflammation) made his second minor-league rehab start Saturday night and pitched four innings for Class AA Altoona, allowing two unearned runs to Richmond in an Eastern League game. ... Pirates RHP James McDonald (right shoulder inflammation) played long toss Saturday and is expected to throw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since May 7, when he was placed on the disabled list. ... The Astros' Lucas Harrell (3-4, 5.11) faces LHP Jeff Locke (3-1, 3.15) on Sunday in the finale of the three-game series.