Andrew McCutchen knocked in the go-ahead run with a single in the
seventh and Neil Walker added insurance two batters later with his
14th home run to propel the Pirates to a 5-3 victory and a
"We were just able to put some good swings on guys out of their
bullpen," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Our starters competed
Walker finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored while leading his team
to its second series sweep of the year and the third comeback
victory in as many games.
Colorado's loss drops the Rockies to a season-worst 18 games below
.500, with losses in three straight games in which the bullpen
allowed Pittsburgh to take the lead.
"You've got to be a able to put games away and it's frustrating,"
manager Walt Weiss said.
The Pirates came back to win for the 25th time this season,
accounting for nearly half of their 52 wins.
Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke began his start in an uncharacteristic
fashion when he walked the first batter he faced, left fielder
Brandon Barnes. Shortstop Josh Rutledge then hit a two-run homer for
an early 2-0 lead.
In the second, catcher Michael McKenry led off with a home run to
left on a 1-1 changeup left over the middle of the plate.
In his first two innings of the second half, Locke allowed nearly as
many home runs (two) as he did in eight first-half starts.
"The runs come in early and kind of put the team and you in a bad
spot right away," Locke said.
Despite falling into a "bad spot," the Pirates kept their focus off
"If you get too caught up in the score or too caught up in things
that are out of your control it's going to lead to pressing and
trying to do too much," Walker said. "We do a good job of not doing
that around there."
Pittsburgh responded in the home second with three consecutive hits
leading off the inning. First baseman Gaby Sanchez led off with a
single then Walker reached on a hit to right and took second when
Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez threw to third as Sanchez got
The extra base taken by Walker set up a two-run single by Mercer,
pulling the Pirates within 3-2.
"We're going to be aggressive," Walker said. "We're going to get
thrown out, we're going to look stupid at times, but at the same
time we're going to make aggressive plays that lead to runs. Some
people may call it stupid, we call it aggressive."
Mercer thought he scored the game-tying run on a Stewart double down
the left-field line but was sent back to third by the umpires as the
ball stuck under padding lining the wall.
Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke worked six innings and gave up
three runs on seven hits and two walks.
[to top of second column]
"I don't think there's a lot of games you can pitch the way I
pitched today and come away with a win at the end of the day," Locke
Colorado starter Tyler Matzek worked through six innings for the
fifth consecutive start, and posted a quality start for the fourth
time out of his last five outing.
Pittsburgh tied the game against Matzek in his last frame when
catcher Chris Stewart bounced his second double of the game into the
left field bleachers that scored shortstop Jordy Mercer from second.
Matzek allowed three runs on seven hits, walked three and struck a
career-high eight hitters.
"Tyler did a great job," Weiss said. "Put us in position (to win)
again. That's three good starts in a row by our starters but
couldn't get the big hit to bust it open early."
Matt Belisle (2-6) entered to work the seventh and was unable to
finish the inning, leaving after he recorded two outs and was
charged with two runs. He walked the leadoff man, Josh Harrison, who
stole second and scored on McCutchen's single.
After McCutchen was caught stealing for the first time this season,
Walker homered to center.
"Today was amateur," Belisle said. "As far as what not to do."
Jeanmar Gomez (2-2) gave up a hit and a walk but pitched a scoreless
seventh in the away half to earn the victory for Pittsburgh.
Tony Watson struck out two in a perfect eighth and Mark Melancon
finished the game to pick up his 18th save.
NOTES: Pittsburgh has won its first three games after the All-Star
Break for the first time since 2004. ... Colorado 1B Justin Morneau
(neck) was out of the lineup although he expected to play. ...
Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki (left thigh) was out of the lineup after
a cramp removed him from Saturday's game. He is day-to-day. ...
Colorado OF Charlie Blackmon (ankle) was out of the lineup after he
rolled his ankle batting in the 11th inning Saturday. X-rays were
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.