Rockies beat Pirates 4-2 to snap 4-game skid
PITTSBURGH – Jhoulys Chacin allowed one run on six hits over eight innings and the Colorado Rockies snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Chacin (10-5), who has won seven of his past nine decisions, stayed in the game after taking a sharp line drive off the bat of Starling Marte in the fifth inning.
Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki had a solo homer and an RBI single, and Todd Helton had a two-run single 17 years to the day after making his major-league debut in the same city.
The Rockies were coming off being outscored 40-13 by Atlanta in a four-game sweep at Turner Field. They won despite their lineup missing two of their best hitters for the second consecutive game – Michael Cuddyer is away on a family emergency and Carlos Gonzalez entered the game in the eighth inning after aggravating a sprained right middle finger on Wednesday night.
Neil Walker had two doubles for the Pirates (65-44), who came in with the best record in the majors.
Pittsburgh has been outscored 17-2 in losing its past two after taking over the best record in the NL with four straight wins over the St. Louis Cardinals this week.
The Pirates scored in the ninth with consecutive one-out doubles by Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez off temporary closer Rex Brothers. But Russell Martin flied out to deep center and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez lined out to right to end it, earning Brothers his eighth save in nine opportunities.
Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole (5-5) needed 102 pitches to make it through 5 1-3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Cole dropped to 1-5 since winning his first four major league starts.
Chacin is 7-2 with a 2.24 ERA since June 11 – the same day as Cole’s debut.
Chacin retired the final 14 he faced – the last nine coming after a liner off the bat of Starling Marte deflected off his forearm to shortstop Tulowitzki, who threw to first to complete the putout.
Chacin grimaced and shook his arm, but appeared to tell catcher Wilin Rosario, manager Walt Weiss and a member of the training staff that he was fine. Chacin retreated from the dugout into the tunnel after the inning ended but returned for the bottom of the sixth following a lengthy wait because his team sent eight men to the plate and scored three runs in the top half.
Chacin lowered his road ERA to a NL-best 1.78.
Tulowitzki was coming off a series in which he went 0 for 10 and was ejected for arguing a called third strike Thursday. The All-Star’s home run, which led off the second inning, was his 20th.
It ended the Pirates’ streak of not allowing a homer at PNC Park over the previous seven games.
Tulowitzki’s other RBI came in the sixth when he chopped a ball high in the air between the pitching mound and first base with runners at first and third and one out. Garret Jones fielded it but had little chance to record an out, particularly with the speedy Dexter Fowler sprinting home.
After a Justin Wilson wild pitch, Helton followed by driving in Corey Dickerson and Tulowitzki with a single to left.
NOTES: Before the game, the Pirates swapped out a pair of relievers when they reinstated RHP Jared Hughes from the disabled list and optioned RHP Vic Black to Triple-A Indianapolis. … The paid attendance of 37,487 was the 10th sellout at PNC Park this season … This was the season’s first meeting between the teams; each has now played every NL team. … Helton went 2-for-4 with a home run while batting fifth and playing left field for the Rockies in his first game in the majors Aug. 2, 1997, at Three Rivers Stadium. … He’s 14 innings short of qualifying for the league leaders, but Saturday Pittsburgh starter LHP Francisco Liriano (11-4, 2.16) would rank second in the NL in ERA if he did. Rockies counterpart LHP Jorge De La Rosa (10-5, 3.21) allowed a season-high five runs in his most recent outing for Colorado.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.