Pittsburgh is eight games under .500 on the road, and they continued to miss PNC Park as they dropped their second in a row to Colorado on Saturday night when the Rockies sank the Pirates 8-1.
Colorado’s Tyler Matzek was very efficient with his 93 pitches over seven innings of work as he gave up just three hits, walked two, and struck out three. The lefthander improved his record to 2-4.
Clint Hurdle’s crew avoided the shutout when Ike Davis hit his seventh home run of the season on a solo shot over the left field wall in the top of the ninth off reliever Brooks Brown. It was the second straight night the Pirates were scoreless until the ninth.
Jeff Locke struggled for the Bucs as he threw 115 pitches over 6 2/3 innings against Colorado. The lefthander surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits, walked three, gave up three home runs while striking out six on the night.
Josh Rutledge got the Rockies on the scoreboard in the third inning when he singled in Charlie Blackmon after he made it to second on a Jordy Mercer throwing error.
Drew Stubbs made it 2-0 in favor of the Rockies in the fourth when he blasted a solo home run to left field.
The hit parade continued in the fifth as Rutledge and Nolan Arenado put up back to back singles against Locke and made the score 3-0. The North Conway, NH native intentionally walked Wilin Rosario but Corey Dickerson came up in Stubbs’ place after the latter had to leave with a rolled ankle.
The 6-foot-2 southpaw managed to setup a great spinning play for Mercer to earn the second out of the frame, but Rutledge still crossed the plate for Colorado’s fourth score.
The end for Locke came in the sixth when Arenado and Dickerson both cranked solo home runs against the 26-year old.
Righty Jeanmar Gomez answered the call to the bullpen and got out of the sixth unscathed. However, the Rockies were not finished as both DJ LeMahieu and Ben Paulson scored in the botttom of the eighth on Rutledge’s single to center field.
The Bucs conclude their three-game series with the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. The first pitch is scheduled at 2:10 p.m. Colorado will send lefthander Franklin Morales (5-5, 5.21 ERA) to the hill while Pittsburgh will go with Edinson Volquez (8-7, 3.86 ERA).
The 30-year-old righthander will be making his 20th start and 21st appearance tomorrow afternoon. He has won four of his last five decisions and has a 7-4 record in his last 13 starts. The game will be broadcast by ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
From The Clipboard: Pedro Alvarez with a sore left knee was not in the lineup for the fourth straight contest…With the Bucs next win, Clint Hurdle will pick up his 300th victory in a Pirates uniform…Following Sunday’s contest, Pittsburgh will head to California to take on the San Francisco Giants for a three-game series beginning on Monday night.