Karstens is almost perfect in victory

From the Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Jeff Karstens has given the Pittsburgh Pirates a perfect start. Almost a perfect game, too.

The right-hander set down his first 23 batters before Chris Young’s two-out double in the eighth inning and finished with a two-hitter Wednesday in a 2-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Karstens (2-0) has pitched 15 scoreless innings since going to Pittsburgh in a six-player trade that sent outfielder Xavier Nady and reliever Damaso Marte to the New York Yankees.

“It’s been a big change,” Karstens said. “I was pitching well in triple A and I felt like I wasn’t going to go anywhere.”


The 25-year-old Karstens outpitched Randy Johnson, who pitched baseball’s most recent perfect game in May 2004. Karstens also got his first two major league hits off the five-time Cy Young Award winner and scored on Doug Mientkiewicz’s eighth-inning double.